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William Maley

New York Auto Show: 2014 SRT Viper TA

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By William Maley

Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

March 18, 2013

If you ever wondered how SRT could make the Viper that much more extreme, well let me introduce the new 2014 SRT Viper TA that will make its public debut at the New York Auto Show next week.

The TA is short for Time Attack and is built with purpose of destroying lap records on racetracks. The model starts with a basic Viper with its 8.4L V10 producing 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque and builds from there. There is a uniquely tuned track suspension with a two-mode Bilstein Damptronic system. SRT says the suspension offers firmer levels of damping than what is found in the Viper GTS. Other changes under the skin include a lighter carbon fiber X-brace and a beefier set of Brembo brakes.

Outside, the Viper TA has a new carbon fiber aero package with front splitters, rear spoiler, and a rear applique. There is also a set of ultra-lightweight, multi-spoke Sidewinder II wheels and all of the badges have been replaced by decals.

The Viper TA weighs around 3,348 pounds, which is six pounds lighter than the base Viper (3,354 lbs) and 26 pounds than the Viper GTS (3,374 lbs).

Production of the Viper TA begins in the third quarter of this year and only 33 will be built.

Source: Chrysler

2014 SRT Viper TA 2
Album: 2014 SRT Viper TA
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William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

Press Release is on Page 2


2014 SRT Viper TA – Ready to Attack Any Road Course

  • Viper TA (Time Attack) spec-package designed for extreme performance in a special road course focused handling package
  • Only 33 units in special “Crusher Orange” exterior paint color will be available beginning third quarter 2013

March 18, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Configured in-house by the Chrysler Group’s SRT (Street and Racing Technology) team in collaboration with professional road racers, the exclusive, street-legal and single-spec 2014 SRT Viper TA (Time Attack) package is specifically built for the performance enthusiast driver who likes to exercise their machines at the more than 150 road-race courses around North America.

Less than one year since the long-awaited world debut of the new 2013 SRT Viper at the New York International Auto Show, the 2014 SRT Viper TA is set to make its public debut on March 27, 2013 on the same show floor at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.

Based on the SRT Viper model – the lightest vehicle in the lineup, the 2014 SRT Viper TA package builds upon the legendary on-track capability of the American hand-built supercar using a majority of pre-developed components straight from the SRT stable, that are combined into a carefully balanced package that extract the most out of the Viper ultralow center of gravity, 50/50 weight distribution and largest contact patch in the production car world.

“The new 2014 SRT Viper TA is being engineering for the dedicated track enthusiast, who still wants to drive to the track and take their hobby to the next level” said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. “We’re re-launching some of the fastest production-built cars that people can buy straight from the factory. Our engineers revised the suspension settings to refocus the Viper specifically for track duty, using a blend of components from the GTS and the SRT models, add in the extensively developed aero package and the new Time Attack package is born. We’re not only saluting the existing capabilities of our current models, we’re also targeting another niche in our customer base with a tremendously capable track machine.”

The suspension on the 2014 SRT Viper TA is uniquely tuned and upgraded specifically for on-track usage and to maximize the performance of the Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires which are mounted on ultra-lightweight, multi-spoke Sidewinder II wheels. A two-mode Bilstein Damptronic suspension system features firmer levels of damping and a smaller spread between modes than what is found on the current Viper GTS models.

Shock dampers, springs and road racing derived stabilizer bars have been retuned for optimal on-track performance. The standard aluminum structural X-brace is replaced with a lighter carbon fiber brace that effectively ties the four corners of the engine compartment together and contributes to the 50-percent increase in torsional rigidity and stiffness across the Viper lineup.

Based on the outstanding performance of the world-class brake system on the 2013 SRT Viper, SRT engineers are working in parallel with Brembo on a system that increases thermal capacity and optimizes heat dissipation providing improved extreme use. The brake calipers on the 2014 SRT Viper TA feature a black anodized finish with the Viper logo shown in Crusher Orange.

The unmistakable exterior of the SRT Viper TA features exclusive Crusher Orange paint with black 2D TA logos behind both front wheels, black Stryker logo on the front fascia and matte black, ultra-lightweight Sidewinder II wheels.

An advanced exterior aerodynamics package includes carbon fiber front splitters and rear spoiler, while a carbon fiber rear applique accentuates the rear width proportions and adds another level of detail.

Under the hood of the 2014 SRT Viper TA is the handcrafted, all-aluminum 8.4-liter, mid-front

V-10 overhead-valve engine. Performance ratings are 640 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque – the most torque of any naturally aspirated sports-car engine in the world.

Inside, the performance driver-oriented cabin of the 2014 SRT Viper TA uses the same standard premium ballistic fabric racing seats from Sabelt, featuring a lightweight fiberglass shell created by a state-of-the-art resin transfer molding technology for mass reduction and long-term durability. Both driver and passenger seats can also accommodate a 3- or 6-point harness for racing belts.

The standard black interior combination includes unique Crusher Orange accent stitching on the cloth seats, instrument panel (through the cowl), center stack, console, pull brake, shifter boot, shifter head, steering wheel and upper doors.

Curb weight is an estimated 3,348 pounds.

Only 33 units of the 2014 SRT Viper TA in Crusher Orange will be built at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, beginning in third quarter 2013.

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Not bad for racing orange.

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      Being of no surprise to anyone, the TLX is sporting a new face that was first shown on the Precision concept from last year's Detroit Auto Show. A huge pentagonal grille is flanked by a set of Acura's jewel-eye headlights. Some people will like this new look, while others (like myself) will be missing the shield/beak grille. Other design changes include a more sculpted hood and new fenders. The interior doesn't change much except the infotainment system has been overhauled to improve overall performance and add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. The downside is it still retains the dual-screens setup that we have been complaining about in many Acura models.
      The base TLX gets a 2.4L four-cylinder with 206 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Next up is the TLX V6 that comes with a 3.5L V6 boasting 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. The V6 is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Topping off the TLX family is the all-new A-Spec. It sports a more aggressive exterior treatment with a new front bumper, side skirts, dual exhaust outlets, rear spoiler finished in black, and a faux rear diffuser. The 3.5L V6 is the only engine available for the A-Spec. FWD variants come with firmer shocks and revised steering, while AWD adds firmer springs and a stiffer rear anti-roll bar.
      Acura hasn't revealed pricing for the 2018 TLX. But we won't be waiting too long as the updated model will arrive in June.
      Source: Acura
      Press Release is on Page 2
      2018 Acura TLX Makes World Debut with Aggressive, Sporty Design, and New Technology Features

      Apr 11, 2017 - NEW YORK
      2018 Acura TLX sports sedan debuts with three distinct variants, Acura Precision Concept-inspired design language and robust tech features All-new TLX V6 A-Spec adds emotional styling and sport-tuning Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AcuraWatch™, and a host of premium features make TLX among most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in its segment Acura has unveiled a refreshed and significantly enhanced 2018 TLX performance luxury sedan, delivering the brand's Precision Crafted Performance design direction to its core sedan. The all-new TLX A-Spec takes the sedan's design in an even more emotional direction, further broadening the brand's appeal to younger buyers. The Acura TLX also will be one of the most technologically advanced and well-equipped vehicles in the segment with new technology features including Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and AcuraWatch™ standard on all grades. The 2018 TLX is slated to go on sale at Acura dealerships nationwide in June.
      The 2018 TLX boasts a more aggressive and sporty look inspired by the Acura Precision Concept that debuted last year, a design direction that has successfully influenced the styling of the 2017 MDX luxury SUV. Acura's signature diamond pentagon grille, paired with changes to the sedan's stance, proportion, wheels and sheet metal boosts its presence on the road.
      "We've really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX's dynamic capabilities," said Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager.        
      The 2018 TLX design illustrates its three variants with distinct characteristics. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC inline-4 cylinder TLX receives a sporty new front fascia featuring the diamond pentagon grille, a new bumper, more sculpted hood, fenders, redesigned Jewel Eye™ headlight design with LED turn signal and a new standard 17-inch wheel and tire package.
      The V6 TLX models add an aggressive, refreshed rear fascia with exposed, rectangular dual-exhaust finishers, rear diffuser and standard 18-inch wheels. The V6 TLX with Technology Package adds a new chrome side sill garnish, all-new seats with contrast piping and stitching, and a power-operated thigh extension on the driver's seat. The Advance Package gains additional technology including trapezoidal LED fog lights, Surround View Camera system, built-in wireless charging pad, white LED ambient light piping in 10 locations throughout the cabin, a heated steering wheel and heated rear outboard seats, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and power-folding side mirrors.
      Acura's acclaimed torque vectoring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive® (SH-AWD™), the best handling all-wheel drive system in the industry, is available for the first time on all V6 TLX models, previously available only with V6 models equipped with Technology or Advance Packages
      New TLX A-Spec
      Reflecting Acura's Precision Crafted Performance DNA, the new TLX V6 A-Spec is available in two-wheel drive and SH-AWD™ configurations, adding character and performance inside and out. An exclusive front fascia, round LED fog lights, aggressive side sills, rear diffuser accented by large, round dual-exhaust finishers and gloss black decklid spoiler creates an even bolder character. Exclusive, dark finish 19-inch wheels paired with wide 245-series tires complement a sport-tuned suspension with more aggressive damper settings and retuned electric power steering for a sharper, more precise handling experience. TLX A-Spec models with SH-AWD also receive a stiffer spring rate and rear stabilizer bar for improved body control. Gloss black trim and A-Spec badging on the rear decklid, fenders, side sill garnish and steering wheel completes the look.
      On the inside, a host of sport-oriented refinements and premium features include exclusive leather seats with increased bolstering, red driver's meter highlights, brushed aluminum-look interior trim, and a thick-rimmed sport steering wheel. Two A-Spec exclusive interior color choices are offered: Red leather or Black leather with Alcantara™ seat and door inserts. Premium enhancements borrowed from the top trim Advance Package include wireless charging pad, ventilated front seats and red LED ambient light piping (white on the Advance Package). 
       
      Technology Enhancements
      The 2018 TLX is the first Acura to feature a refreshed dual-screen user On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD 2.0) interface that supports Apple CarPlay™, Android Auto™ and Sirius XM 2.0. New software improves the system response time and offers more intuitive menus and command structures for a seamless and quicker user experience – approximately 30 percent faster. An enhanced 7-inch touchscreen has a capacitive display that is more responsive to the touch and is positioned within easy reach of the driver and front passenger.
      With its unique AcuraWatch™ suite of technologies, the 2018 Acura TLX is the only vehicle in its class with standard crash avoidance and active driving-assistive features. AcuraWatch™ includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with automatic emergency braking, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow (LSF) and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM). AcuraWatch uses a millimeter wave radar and monocular camera sensing technology to detect other vehicles as well as lane markings and can help intervene to prevent or mitigate the severity of a collision. With Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Lane Keeping Assist, AcuraWatch can significantly decrease the driver's workload during freeway cruising by maintaining a set speed and following interval, initiating both braking and throttle inputs, and adding steering input to help the driver maintain their position in the detected lane.

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    • By William Maley
      Following the LS 500 at Detroit and the LS 500h at Geneva, New York will be the home for the 2018 LS 500 F-Sport debut.
      Before we get any further, we need to temper expectations. This isn't a fully fledged F model like the GS F or RC F where they get noticeable power increases. Instead, the F-Sport is more of an aesthetic and handling package.
      From the outside, the F-Sport adds a mesh grille, larger air vents, side skirts, 20-inch wheels, and special shade of white that is exclusive to the LS F-Sport. The interior comes with new sport seats, an F-Sport steering wheel, brushed aluminum trim, and a revised instrument cluster.
      A handling package that brings variable-ratio steering, rear-wheel steering, sport-tuned air suspension, and the Lexus' Active Stabilizer anti-roll-bar system is only available on the rear-drive LS 500. All F-Sport models do get larger brakes (6-piston calipers at the front and 4-piston at the rear).
      The LS F-Sport arrives in early 2018.
      Source: Lexus
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Having debuted its reinvented flagship sedan earlier this year—the all-new 2018 LS 500—Lexus is putting an exclamation point on this signature model with the new F SPORT model. The LS 500 F SPORT, unveiled today and on display this week at the New York International Auto Show, moves the driving emotion needle even farther with handling enhancements and a performance-infused design outside and in.
      The original luxury disruptor when it debuted to launch the brand, the Lexus LS has for nearly three decades set benchmarks for powertrain smoothness, ride quietness, craftsmanship, attention to detail, and long-term quality. The 2018 LS 500 will offer the most dynamic driving experience in the model’s history; now it has the possibility of being enhanced further with the new F SPORT model.
      Within the Lexus lineup, the F models, including GS F and RC F, are the track-tuned maximum performance machines. The F SPORT versions, meanwhile, imbue the standard models with a more engaging driving spirit through carefully applied chassis tuning and enhancements, while still emphasizing exceptional comfort. On the new LS, the F SPORT model will be available with gas and hybrid powertrains, and those choosing the RWD V6TT model will have the option of adding the F SPORT Handling Package to bring a level of liveliness never before seen on the flagship sedan.
      F SPORT Look
      Lexus designers didn’t hold back when giving the LS 500 its coupe-like silhouette and dramatic rendition of the Lexus signature spindle grille that shows even greater intricacy in the design. Developing the F SPORT grille took computer-aided design (CAD) operators some five months to achieve the desired texture and interaction with light. Even then, they adjusted 7,100 individual surfaces to achieve the desired look and texture (compared to 5,000 for the standard model’s grille). And when combined with the sporty enlarged side grille, it is functional as well, helping to maintain the vehicle’s cooling performance.
      The special F SPORT front grille, rocker panel, and trunk moldings accentuate the sedan’s rakish profile, while F SPORT badging on fenders and exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels complete the exterior transformation. For those looking to really stand out, Ultra White is offered as an F SPORT-exclusive exterior color.
      F SPORT Inside
      As it did with the exterior, Lexus shifted the LS 500 cabin into F SPORT spec by applying trim and features exclusive to this version. A common thread through all LS models remains: Omotenashi, the concept of Japanese hospitality. Applied to the LS 500, it means taking care of the driver and passengers, anticipating their needs, attending to their comfort and helping to protect them from hazards. The F SPORT adds a performance attitude to the mix.
      The F SPORT persona shines throughout the cabin, starting with the F SPORT-exclusive front seat, which provides enhanced support for dynamic driving. A perforated-grill pattern on seating surfaces and unique scored aluminum trim elements add additional sporty flair.
      The driver faces a special F SPORT steering wheel as well as a speedometer and tachometer in a movable meter with a ring that slides to display information—a design adapted from the limited-production Lexus LFA supercar and a further expression of the car’s dynamic intentions. Attention to detail shows in the aluminum accelerator, brake and footrest pedals, as well as the F SPORT perforated shift handle and footrest. Ultrasuede in the seats and headliner is the crowning touch. For those desiring the ultimate sporty look, a new Circuit Red interior is available exclusively on F SPORT models.
      LS 500 Chassis Details
      2018 LS F SPORT models feature the latest generation of the brand’s advanced chassis control technology, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), which has been refined since its debut more than a decade ago.
      In 2004, Lexus introduced the first integrated control system that combined the previously independent ABS, traction control, vehicle stability control, and EPS, as well as other functions, into a single system. In 2012, the brand adopted the four-wheel active steering integrated control system—known as Lexus Dynamic Handling, or LDH—from the GS for enhanced safety and driving performance that responds to the driver’s intention.
      The new VDIM system implements cooperative control of all vehicle subsystems – braking, steering, powertrain, and suspension – to control basic longitudinal, lateral and vertical motion as well as yaw, roll and pitch. Optimal control of these motions helps to enable exceptional ride comfort, enhanced traction and safety and handling agility, and allows for enriched flat vehicle posture during cornering as well as a more comfortable and stable ride overall.
      Sporting Genes
      The LS 500 is based on an extended version of the brand’s premium global architecture for luxury vehicles (GA–L) platform from the new Lexus LC 500 coupe. The stiffest platform that Lexus has ever developed, GA-L sets the stage for enhanced handling, ride smoothness and cabin quietness. The LS F SPORT capitalizes on the platform’s responsiveness and agility.
      Equipping the LS 500 F SPORT with standard 20-inch wheels and 245/45RF20+ 275/40RF20 tires, (summer tires for RWD) along with larger front and rear brakes (6-piston calipers on front and 4 pistons on rear), unlocks more of the platform’s intrinsic performance capability. Opting for the available F SPORT Handling Package (RWD gas model) equips the LS 500 F SPORT with Lexus Dynamic Handling (Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Active Rear Steering), Active Stabilizer, and sport-tuned air suspension with rapid height function. The result is a full-size premium luxury sedan that responds more like a sports coupe through curves, helping to underline what F SPORT stands for.
      415-Horsepower Heart with a 10-Speed Partner
      Lexus designed an all-new 3.5-liter V6 engine specifically for the new 2018 LS 500, using twin turbochargers developed through the company’s F1 technology. This new twin-turbo V6 offers V8-level performance – 415 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque – paired with the first-ever 10-speed automatic transmission in luxury sedan.
      The engine yields a broad torque curve and, perfectly in tune with the F SPORT spirit, the new engine and transmission deliver instant acceleration and a constant buildup of torque toward the vehicle’s redline. The LS 500 is undeniably quick, with a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds (gas RWD). An electric wastegate is among the features that contribute to the engine’s rapid responses. The driver can tailor powertrain response and feel by choosing from Normal, Sport S or Sport S+ modes, and just enough of the exhaust note is heard to enhance the sporty feel.
      F SPORT Performance, Hybrid Efficiency
      The LS 500h F SPORT infuses high efficiency into the sporting formula. The new Multi Stage Hybrid System combines a naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators and uses a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery. The V6 engine uses D-4S direct fuel injection, and lightweight valvetrain components, with Dual VVT-i ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range. Combined system output is 354 hp.
      The new system adapts the planetary-type continuously variable transmission from Lexus Hybrid Drive and also adds a unique four-speed automatic transmission. Working in concert, the two gearsets alter output in four stages to utilize the V6 engine across the entire speed range. In manual mode, the two gearsets act together to provide the effect of 10 ratios, giving the LS 500h F SPORT an enhanced dynamic feel on the road and allowing the driver to shift through the ratios with paddle shifters. The Multi Stage Hybrid System allows for more electric assist at lower vehicle speeds.
      What’s more, this system allows the RWD LS 500h to propel from 0-60 in 5.2 seconds – which is on par with the previous-generation V8-powered LS 460 and 3 /10th of a second faster than the AWD LS 600h.

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