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By Drew Dowdell
The 1998 Lincoln Navigator created the full size luxury SUV segment, but the Navigator has lost the spotlight since then. Lincoln hopes to get it back with the redesigned 2015 Navigator. Lincoln took the wraps off the next version of the Navigator today.
One thing the Navigator has never been is subtle and that trait carries over with the 2015 model. Up front is a brash interpretation of Lincoln's split grille design sporting 5 chunky, horizontal bars in each grille portal. The light cluster carry LED accent lighting while the headlights are the more traditional HID type. The power tailgate sports a full width LED tail light design, that some have suggested is reminiscent of the 2014 Dodge Durango, but is actually just the same theme seen on the coming 2015 Lincoln MKC crossover, flipped upside down.
Inside, the theme is decidedly more conservative. Sticking with the dual cowl dashboard design of the current generation, the layout of the 2015 Navigator feels at once fresh yet familiar. It comes swathed in hand wrapped leather and natural grain wood trim. Ford's now ubiquitous Sync system features an 8 inch display on the center stack and a 4.2 inch LCD in the instrument cluster. Redundant hardware controls for climate and radio are placed below.
As we reported previously, the 2015 Navigator will no longer have a V8 under the hood but will instead be powered by an Ecobost V6. Producing at least 370 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, a 60 horsepower and 65 lb-ft jump over the outgoing 5.4 Liter V8, the 3.5 liter V6 Ecoboost Navigator will lay claim to best in class towing. Power is routed through a 6-speed automatic with rear-wheel and 4-wheel drive configurations available.As with the current model, the 2015 Navigator will be offered in both standard length and extended length models.
The 2015 Lincoln Navigator is a fresh look on a vehicle that has been fading in its segment in spite of arguably being the segment's founder. It faces stiff competition from an all new 2015 Cadillac Escalade, the excellent Mercedes GL-Class, and a soon to be seen Audi Q7. In its favor, 70% of Lincoln Navigator buyers return to buy a new one.
Do you think this new 2015 Navigator has the direction to take on these market foes? Sound off below.
Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on twitter as @cheersngears.
Source: Lincoln News
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By William Maley
By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
April 11, 2013
Earlier this week, everyone went into a tizzy with the report of a new 1.5L EcoBoost three-cylinder that would be coming to the 2014 Fusion midsize. Well, that report was only half right.
Today at a event, Ford announced the 2014 will come with a 1.5L EcoBoost four-cylinder. This will be Ford's fifth EcoBoost engine and will be offered in the Fusion's twin, the Mondeo in other markets. The 1.5L EcoBoost will make its official debut later this month at the Shanghai Motor Show, a perfect place to show the new engine since the Chinese Government offers a significant tax relief for vehicles powered by engines with a capacity of 1.5L or less.
Ford is keeping their lips shut on power details, transmissions, and what models you will be able get the 1.5L till a later date. Our guess is the 1.5L EcoBoost will take the place of the 1.6L EcoBoost and offer close or equal the power output to the 1.6L as well.
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
Press Release is on Page 2
Ford Launches New Fuel-Efficient 1.5-Liter EcoBoost Engine; Boosts Company's Global EcoBoost Capacity
- Ford announces new fuel-efficient 1.5-liter EcoBoost® engine, extends successful EcoBoost lineup to meet global demand for four-cylinder EcoBoost engines
- Ford now has capacity to build 1.6 million EcoBoost engines annually, triples number of plants that produce EcoBoost engines in Europe, Asia and North America from 2010 to 2013
- 1.5-liter EcoBoost offers trademark EcoBoost turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing; delivers power of a larger engine with smaller unit economy
- Fifth Ford EcoBoost engine delivers new innovations, and significant consumer benefits in global markets offering tax reductions for vehicles equipped with engines of 1.5-liter capacity or less
DEARBORN, Mich., April 11, 2013 – Ford Motor Company today announces a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost® engine will join its lineup of fuel-efficient, innovative powertrains. The 1.5-liter engine is a key strategic entry for Ford, as the company works to meet strong global demand for its four-cylinder EcoBoost engines.
With the launch of this newest fuel-efficient engine, Ford now has capacity to build 1.6 million EcoBoost engines annually. By the end of 2013, six plants across Europe, Asia and North America will be producing EcoBoost engines, triple the number that were doing so in 2010.
Production of the four-cylinder 1.5-liter EcoBoost – the fifth member of the EcoBoost family – will commence initially at Ford's world-class facility in Craiova, Romania, later this month. Other manufacturing locations will be announced in the future. The new engine will be first introduced in China in the all-new Ford Mondeo, making its public debut later this month at Auto Shanghai 2013, with applications following in the Fusion sedan in North America this year, and later the new Mondeo in Europe.
As a key contributor to Ford's aggressive fuel economy and emissions strategy, EcoBoost technologies enable improvements to both fuel efficiency of 20 percent and emissions of up to 15 percent. The 1.5-liter engine benefits from signature EcoBoost turbocharging, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing, and has been designed to be even more fuel efficient and offer high levels of refinement, quietness and performance.
Additionally, the newest EcoBoost engine will be a strategic entry for Ford in global markets that offer tax relief to consumers who purchase vehicles powered by engines of 1.5-liter capacity or less.
The new aluminum-block, twin-cam 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine will include some of the innovative features introduced on the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost such as an integrated exhaust manifold. The new engine is expected to provide similar horsepower and torque performance to Ford's current 1.6-liter EcoBoost, while delivering improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
The 1.5-liter EcoBoost is the first engine from Ford to incorporate a computer-controlled clutch on the belt-drive water pump, which further improves efficiencies by reducing warm-up time. A water-cooled charge air cooler is added to offer a more efficient feed of air into the engine.
"Ford EcoBoost technology has changed the way people look at gas engines and has enjoyed huge success with customers," said Joe Bakaj, vice president, powertrain engineering for Ford. "The new 1.5-liter unit further extends our EcoBoost promise of economical driving in terms of both fuel efficiency and – in some markets – tax savings."
Ford has sold more than 600,000 EcoBoost-equipped vehicles globally since the range was launched with the 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost in 2009. Ford added the 2.0-liter EcoBoost in 2010, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost followed in 2011, and last year the 1.0-liter EcoBoost was launched, winning the 2012 "International Engine of the Year" award.
By the end of this year, nearly 80 percent of the company's global nameplates will be available with fuel-saving EcoBoost technology.
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By William Maley
By William Maley
Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
March 12, 2013
The next Lincoln Navigator will lose its a V8 and go with EcoBoost V6. This news comes from Lincoln Global Director Matt VanDyke via Motor Trend. The EcoBoost in question will the 3.5L that currently is in the F-150. With 365 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque, this is a very respectable increase from the Navigator's current 310 horsepower and 365 pound-feet. There is also talk of the 3.7L V6 with 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque appearing as the base engine.
Is there any chance of a V8 appearing in the next Navigator? Probably not as VanDyke said that Lincoln is going all EcoBoost.
Meanwhile at Ford, the next Expedition will likely get the 5.0L V8 with 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The Expedition might also get the 3.7L V6 and 3.5L EcoBoost, though the EcoBoost might be a Lincoln thing only.
Source: Motor Trend
William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at email@example.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
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By William Maley
By Chris Doane
January 29, 2013
I know I won’t get much, if any, sympathy when I say that, sometimes, there are letdowns when you review cars. Last week, the car I was evaluating was a $100,000, 400hp, German coupe. (Read my review of the 2012 BMW 650i xDrive coupe here) I’ve now stepped directly from that into a Kia Rio.
I’ll pause for your laughter.
For the price of the super coupe, you can buy 5.4 Kia Rios. You could keep that .4 for spare parts?
But don’t let price fool you. Oddly enough, there is something about the way the Kia drives that beats the German car hands down.
If you guessed power, speed or luxury, then you’re either not familiar with these cars, or you’re three martinis into “lunch” at the bar. What the much cheaper Kia does have over the German car is steering feel. The coupe from Deutschland has 262 more horse power, yards and yards of leather, but in the Kia, I actually have some sense of what the front wheels are doing via what I feel through the steering wheel. And I’ll take some feel over none any day.
If driving is something you enjoy, steering feel is pretty useful information to have when zipping through the corners. Even if driving is nothing more than a task for you, it’s pretty nice to know when the front wheels feel like they’re about to lose traction. While no one would ever mistake the Rio for a sporty, corner carving car, the Rio SX model has a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels, and light, responsive steering that, somehow, make this small, underpowered car a little bit fun to drive.
It’s a bit like a go-kart, only with airbags, a trunk and room for five passengers. Well, 4.5 anyway.
The main reason I say “a little bit fun to drive” is because of the 1.6L, 138hp four cylinder motor in the Rio. Those hot, 17-inch wheels on this Rio SX might make it look quick, but this hatchback ain’t going anywhere fast. While there is certainly power to be had from this little four-banger, you’ve got to rev the snot out of it to reach that power. Once the tachometer reads 4500-5000rpm, then you approach something that could be considered acceleration.
In regular, everyday driving, the lack of power isn’t really an issue. You’ll get through the city, and around the highways, just fine. But in some situations, like passing on even a modest incline, you might think twice. As I attempted to pass an older, slower Nissan on a slight uphill, the pass happened in such slow fashion that I would’ve had time to say hello to the driver, ask if he was hungry, make a sandwich, and pass it over. Wait, did he want Grey Poupon?
So we don’t have speed, but that should come as no surprise since this car is intended more for fuel efficiency. The Rio is rated for 28mpg city, 36mpg highway, and we observed a 31mpg average with sporty driving habits and more highway driving than city driving. There is also an “eco” button you can press that reigns in the engine, and transmission shift points, for increased fuel economy.
Even though the fuel economy is fairly good, the tank in the Rio is pretty tiny at 11.3 gallons. If you have a long commute, you’ll still be filling up a lot, but at least you’ll only be pumping in 11 gallons each time.
If you want to know when that tank is about to run dry, it’s not a good idea to rely on the digital, remaining range readout in the gauge cluster. One moment, the Rio SX told me I could drive another 31 miles before I was out of fuel. Less than 5 minutes of regular driving later, it told me I had no range remaining.
Inside the Rio, it’s about what you’d expect in a $18,545 car. A nicely designed, mostly hard plastic interior, but with soft touch material in the right spots and a backup camera. Wait, what? A backup camera in a $18,545 car? Touch-screen nav too? Don’t forget the power fold mirrors. Though, in a car this narrow, I’m not really sure why you’d ever need to fold in the mirrors.
Of those features, it’s the backup camera that is almost a necesity due to the massive blind spots the stylish C-pillars create. Without a rear-facing camera, backing out of a parking spot involves more prayer than driving skill.
Normally, in cars of this price range, the seats suffer when it comes to comfort. Somehow, the chairs in the Rio manage not to do that. They certainly aren’t heavily padded or bosltered seats, but after three hours of wheeling, I was perfectly comfortable, and ready for three more.
Frankly, the best part of the Rio is how fantastic it looks. If you venture back even a few years ago and look at the cars Kia was producing then, you’d never have guessed this company was capable of designing something this good looking.
Not only does the exterior design trump the Scion xB, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa, but it certainly holds its’ own against the Chevy Sonic and Ford Fiesta as well.
2012 Kia Rio SX 5-door - $17,700
-Carpeted Floor Mats - $95
-Destination - $750
TOTAL - $18,545
Album: 2012 Kia Rio SX 5-Door
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By William Maley
By Chris Doane
January 22, 2013
Five minutes after the photo session with the 650i came to an end, my phone rang. It’s Mark, the guy who was driving the Bimmer while I snapped photos.
“Chris, something is wrong with my car. It feels slow, I must be towing a big trailer.”
There was no trailer. Mark had just stepped from a 400hp, twin-turbo BMW into a 2005 Ford Expedition XLT. All 5352 pounds of it.
“I’ll never enjoy driving this again. I’m blaming you.”
Oh, um…alright, then.
Apart from permanently ruining a man’s truck, the 650i encourages you to behave in ways your fellow motorists might not fully appreciate.
You’ll creep up behind that Rav4, with only the “halo” LED lights on, stalk it like prey, then drop two gears and hammer past it in even the shortest passing lane. But when you have this much thrust on tap, short passing lanes suddenly turn into “Oh, I can make that!” lanes.
The main source for that urge to misbehave comes from BMW’s twin-turbo, 4.4L V8 engine, good for 400hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. While those 400 ponies are undoubtedly great, you also get all the available torque very early in the rev range (1750 rpm.) Simply put, the power delivery is immediate, fierce and will pin you against the seat when you mash the pedal on the right.
In addition to the speed, hammering the accerator summons a gurgling, satanic symphony of power, emanating from the huge tailpipes. It’s a sound that is as addictive as it is bad for your fuel economy. Living in proximity of a long tunnel should be a prerequiste to own this car as tunnel blasting will become your newest, loudest, most favorite hobby.
When it comes to handling, the 650i encourages you to bend the rules once again and take the corner posted 20mph at 45mph. It’s something this BMW is certainly capable of, as it offers large amounts of grip, very flat cornering and…almost no steering feel whatsoever. And that last bit can be a problem.
As is the case with many new cars, the 650i has electric power steering. A nasty side effect can be little to no steering feel. It made for a pretty numb steering wheel in the new 5-series, and it’s done exactly the same thing to the 6-series.
Wheeling the 6’er through the bends is a hard feeling to describe. “Strange” might be the most accurate word. With no steering feel, it’s difficult to tell when your cornering speed might get too fast, and your grip of the road will cease to be. You almost have to rely on listening to whether the tires are just “singing” through the corner, or screetching and about to let go.
With less sensory input to react to, it’s tough to know whether you’ll make it through the corner gracefully, and power out of it, or if you’ll be sucking on the airbag after skidding off the road and into that sugar maple tree.
But hey, either way, it’ll be exciting.
Once you set butt inside the new 6-series, there’s an awful lot of technology waiting for you. Some of it is cool, some of it is mediocore, and some of it doesn’t really work.
Any tech talk about a BMW car almost certainly involves the often controversial iDrive interface system. It’s a setup that’s been through several revisions, and the net result of that is…it still sucks. It certainly sucks less than the earlier versions, but iDrive still has tons of endless menus that aren’t real intuitive to navigate.
The week before I drove the 650i, a friend of mine said I’d be totally wow’ed by the heads up display offered in this BMW. It projects your speed, along with several other bits of information, on the windshield near your normal line of sight. Since a BMW is not an F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, I was skeptical how useful this really was. After one day of using it, I was totally sold on the HUD. Sure, it will help you keep your eyes more on the road, but really, it’s just the cool factor that makes you want it. On the downside, the HUD can be very hard to see if you’re wearing polarized sunglasses.
One of the latest automated technologies making its way into luxury cars are the automatic high beam lights that turn themselves on and off as other cars approach you. Much like the earlier days of rain-sensing wipers that never seemed to get wiper speed right, these auto brights just aren’t there yet. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they would turn themselves off when I was the only one on the road.
Heaps of style
Once you’re past all the technology, you might notice you’re sitting in one of the nicest, most luxurious interiors out there at the moment. While I’ll let the photos do most of the talking, there is leather, and contrast stitching, everywhere. The dash flowing into the center console is incredibly elegant and the seats adjust 20 different ways to mold to your body. It is a really, really nice place to be. Unless of course you’re in the back seat. Then it’s best not to have legs since there’s nowhere to put them.
On the outside, the sleek elegant design continues with an incredibly attractive posterior, strong character lines highlighting the profile, and a front end that’s gone a bit wrong.
While this new 6-series is certainly much more attractive than the rounded-off, last-generation model, the front fascia on this latest model feels a bit over-styled. There’s just too much going on, especially when you opt for the M-sport package.
Should you buy one? Yes, buy it for the sound that comes out of the exhaust pipes alone. Nevermind the exquiste interior, good, but numb, handling and rev-happy, twin-turbo V8. It’s certainly no sports car, but it’s grand tourer worthy of your checkbook.
The biggest reason not to buy one? The way this 650i xDrive was spec’ed, you could be in an M6 coupe for only five grand more.
And if you’re spending 100 grand on a 6-series, well, what’s another five?
2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe - $86,000
-Cold Weather Package - $750
-Driver Assistance Package - $3,330
-M-Sport Package - $4,440
-20” wheels with performance tires - $1300
-Premium Sound Package - $1800
-Instrument Panel with Leather - $1500
-Ceramic Controls - $650
-BMW Apps - $250
-Destination - $875
TOTAL Price – $100,825
Album: 2012 BMW 650i xDrive Coupe
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