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William Maley

2017 Land Rover Discovery Drops 1,000 Pounds, Becomes Sleeker

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William Maley    393

The previous two generations of the Land Rover Discovery went by different names in the U.S. - LR3 and LR4. But tonight at an event in Paris, Land Rover introduced the next-generation Discovery and that it what it will go by when it comes to the U.S. next summer.

Let's begin with the big story. Land Rover was able to drop 1,000 pounds out of the new Discovery. To put that into perspective, the current LR4 has a base curb weight of 5,655 pounds. How did they do it? Well, it comes down to the Premium Lightweight Architecture (PLA) that is currently underpinning the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. This architecture features a large amount of aluminum in its construction.

Power will come from two engines:

  • 3.0L Supercharged V6 - 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque
  • 3.0L Turbodiesel V6 - 254 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque

Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel drive system.

As for going off the beaten path, Land Rover has a made a number of improvements. Overall ground clearance has been increased by 1.7 inches to 11.1 inches. An optional air suspension can raise it slightly higher. The Discovery will feature All-Terrain Progress Control - basically its a low-speed cruise control system for off-roading. Other off-road bits to be aware off include the latest version of the Terrain Response 2 system and an available two-speed transfer case. 

The exterior mimics the Discovery Sport with a smaller front grille, reshaped LED headlights, sculpting along the doors, LED taillights, and a one-piece tailgate. The interior is handsome and features a 10.2-inch touchscreen with the latest version of Jaguar Land Rover's InControl infotainment system and three-rows of seating. A clever trick that the Discovery features is the abilty to fold the second and third-row seats by using the infotainment system or an app on your smartphone.

Safety-wise, the Discovery will be available with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a surround camera system.

Pricing for the 2017 Land Rover Discovery is as followed:

  • Discovery SE - $50,985
  • Discovery HSE - $57,945
  • Discovery HSE Td6 - $59,945
  • Discovery HSE Luxury - $64,945
  • Discovery HSE Luxury Td6 - $66,945
  • Discovery First Edition - $74,945

Prices include a $995.00 destination charge.

Source: Land Rover


Press Release is on Page 2


LAND ROVER UNVEILS THE FIFTH GENERATION FULL-SIZE DISCOVERY
The all-new full-size Discovery embodies the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It’s an authentic, three-row, seven-seat(1) SUV that brings new levels of capability and versatility to the Discovery family.

  • A full-sized, three-row, seven-seat SUV(1) with characteristic Land Rover capability and versatility
  • The embodiment of the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure
  • On sale from mid-2017, priced from $49,990(7)

The Seven Wonders of Discovery:
Seven principles describe the essence of Discovery and have guided its creation:

1. The Magnificent Seven: every seat is the best seat in the house

The new Discovery features a flexible interior, with seating – up to seven full-sized adult seats(1) – that’s instantly configurable from Apple and Android smartphones using the world-first remote Intelligent Seat Fold technology(2,5)

2. A much loved member of the family for the last 26 years

  • Advanced driver assistance technologies(4) provide the driver and occupants peace of mind
  • Premium interior combines leading design with durable, high-quality materials and space for the whole family

3. King of the hill: a true Land Rover with the brand’s characteristic capability on a variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions

  • Full-sized Land Rover SUV architecture delivers impressive all-terrain capability
  • Lightweight aluminum construction cuts approximately 1,000 lbs(3) from the weight of the outgoing LR4, delivering enhanced on- and off-road performance
  • 8,201 lb. towing capacity(10) and Advanced Tow Assist(4) take the stress out of difficult reversing maneuvers

4. British creativity: designed with charm and sophistication loved by the world
Design retains key Discovery family cues, adding optimized proportions and sophisticated surfaces

5. Storage addiction: discover the space for everything
82.7 cu. ft. of luggage space and clever storage to satisfy an active lifestyle and family needs alike

6. Connects every generation: Smart features that make life easier
All-new Discovery comes equipped with up to nine USB ports, six 12-volt charging points and an in-car 3G WiFi hotspot for up to eight devices(12)

7. After the roads end: reaching threatened habitats and vulnerable people
New Discovery will continue the Land Rover brand’s work in humanitarian aid and conservation projects around the world

(PARIS) – September 28, 2016 – The all-new full-size Discovery embodies the Land Rover brand’s drive to go Above and Beyond, combining British desirability with an unstoppable spirit of adventure. It’s an authentic, three-row, seven-seat(1) SUV that brings new levels of capability and versatility to the Discovery family.

Everyday ingenuity has been at the heart of the Discovery for the last 27 years. The new Discovery signals the transformation from cogs to code with more than 1.2 million owners with us on every step of the journey.

The fifth-generation model benefits from the strong and light full-size Land Rover SUV architecture, delivering comfort and adaptability like no other.

The all-new Discovery is ready for the digital age. Smart technology features keep families connected and confident on a variety of surfaces, terrains, and weather conditions; ensuring their destination is reached.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “The all-new Discovery redefines the large SUV. The Land Rover design and engineering teams have revolutionized the Discovery DNA to create a highly desirable, extremely versatile and hugely capable premium SUV. We truly believe the result is a radical departure in design that will introduce the Discovery Family to a new, wider customer base.”

Revolutionary design
The all-new Discovery was previewed by the Discovery Vision Concept, which showcased the future direction of the entire Discovery family when it debuted at the New York Auto Show in 2014; it represented a radical departure for the most versatile SUV from Land Rover. The revolutionary design gives Discovery a dynamic appearance with sophisticated surfaces and precisely engineered details designed to resonate with customers on an emotional level.

Gerry McGovern, Land Rover Chief Design Officer said: “Design creates an emotional connection between our customers and our vehicles. Our clear design strategy means our vehicles are instantly recognizable and communicate the values of Land Rover that our customers love. The flawless volume and proportions, sophisticated surfaces and precise detailing of the all-new Discovery, beautifully combine with engineering integrity to create a premium SUV that will resonate with today’s customers.”

The Discovery family has always had a spirit of adventure. The new model provides a dramatic reinterpretation of the 27 years of heritage and practical DNA Discovery is best known for, and combines it with a sophisticated design that pays homage to previous models without being restrained by them.

Trademark design features include the stepped roofline, which has identified each of the four previous generations of Discovery and provides an elegant solution to a practical need. The stepped profile optimizes headroom for passengers travelling in the third row of seats(1). It also accommodates the customary stadium seating configuration Discovery is best known for, which sees each row of seats positioned higher than the one in front, ensuring every seat is the best seat in the house.

Design and engineering integrity from Land Rover ensures the fifth generation Discovery is able to accommodate seven full-sized adults in an SUV body measuring just over 16 feet in length (4,970mm). Most similar-sized competitors provide 5+2 seating, but the new Discovery is designed for 95th percentile adults to sit comfortably in its rearmost seats, providing complete interior flexibility. Each of the third-row seats(1) incorporate ISOFIX mounting points (four in total), so families with children have the freedom to put child safety seats in the most appropriate location for any journey(13).

Inside, the all-new Discovery continues the design revolution started by the Discovery Sport, where customers can specify a range of premium materials including luxurious Windsor leather upholstery and natural oak veneers.

A limited-run ‘First Edition’ model showcases the very best of the new model. Only 529 examples will be available in the United States with exclusive features including unique etched map detailing on the aluminum trim for the doors and dashboard, unique badges, bold color choices and a comprehensive list of standard equipment. 

The optional Dynamic Design Pack gives the fifth generation Discovery a more purposeful, clean appearance both inside and out, with features including a contrast roof, athletic front and rear bumper designs, luxurious leather upholstery and a sports-inspired steering wheel and pedals setting it apart.

Connecting every generation of the family
The all-new Discovery offers an available world-first Intelligent Seat Fold technology, allowing owners to reconfigure the second- and third-row seats with minimal effort; using controls at the rear of the vehicle, the central touchscreen, or even remotely – via a smartphone app – as part of the Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro services(2,5).

The innovative feature allows owners to rearrange the seats from inside the store while they wait to pay for large or bulky items, ensuring the vehicle is perfectly configured to accommodate their purchases when they go to leave.

All three rows are available with heated seats – heated and cooled in rows one and two – while massage seats are available for the driver and front passenger to optimize comfort on long journeys.

Enjoying the spacious interior of the all-new Discovery is made easier by another thoughtful Land Rover innovation. On vehicles equipped with air suspension, Auto Access Height technology reduces the ride-height by up to 1.57 in. as passengers prepare to enter or exit the vehicle.

Alongside the spacious and flexible seating layout, the other key to the new model’s versatility is the optional Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro infotainment system(6,11). Vehicles equipped with InControl Touch Pro benefit from a large 10-inch touchscreen positioned high on the center console(5,8). This development enabled Land Rover designers to reduce the number of switches on the center console by a third, delivering a clean and uncluttered appearance.

Crisp graphics and easy-to-navigate menus incorporate the latest navigation and entertainment technologies including door-to-door navigation, which can share directions to a paired smartphone to help owners complete journeys on foot(8). Seamless iOS and Android connectivity combine with a 17-speaker Meridian digital surround system and 3G WiFi to provide the ultimate listening experience, whether streaming songs online or playing music directly from a connected device.

Up to six 12V charging points ensure the new Discovery is perfectly equipped to cope with the demands of the most connected owners and their passengers, while as many as seven USB sockets (up to nine when the rear seat entertainment is fitted) allow passengers in each row to power their smartphones or tablets simultaneously.

Another technology feature for active families is the Activity Key wristband – first debuted on the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE – which allows customers to enjoy sports and active hobbies without having to carry the standard key fob and worry about the risk of damage or loss. Holding the waterproof Activity Key up to the ‘D’ in the Discovery badge on the rear tailgate simultaneously locks the vehicle and disables the ordinary key, which can be left safely inside. This leaves customers free to run, swim, ride or play without worrying about the security of their vehicle.

Storage addiction
At every stage of its development Land Rover has designed the all-new Discovery around the needs of its customers. This is evident when you look around the cabin. Design and engineering teams at Land Rover have an addiction to storage; this resulted in a host of convenient interior storage solutions for owners, including:

  • Storage in the central console capable of holding pair of two-liter beverage containers.
  • A central armrest cubby large enough to house five tablet computers with a lid that hinges through 180 degrees to function as an armrest even when open
  • Small-item stowage behind the fold-down Climate Control panel
  • A flush-fitting, push-operated, bag hook in the front passenger footwell capable of securing shopping bags

The effort put into developing the first-rate cabin storage in the all-new Discovery has been matched by the thought put into its luggage space. The premium SUV provides 82.7 cu. ft. of load capacity, or 45 cu. ft. behind row two, and the new optional dual-purpose Powered Inner Tailgate provides all the versatility expected from a vehicle wearing the Discovery badge.

When raised, the fold-down panel at the leading edge of the load area operates as a practical load restraint, but when lowered, the 11-inch overhanging section doubles as a useful bench for event seating or changing muddy footwear, all under the shelter provided by the new one-piece tailgate. This simple device replicates the functionality of the horizontally split tailgate fitted to previous Land Rover vehicles.

Comfort and capability
The all-new Discovery retains renowned Land Rover all-terrain capability thanks to its combination of excellent off-road geometry and advanced driver assistance technologies(4); together, they enhance the everyday usability of the new model.

Ground clearance is rated at 11.1-inches – an increase of 1.7 inches from the LR4 – while a maximum wading depth of 35.4-inches – an increase of 7.9-inches – provides unrivalled confidence when tackling waterlogged trails(4).

A comprehensive suite of available off-road driving technologies ensures the all-new Discovery maintains its supreme all-terrain capability and is easy to access for even inexperienced drivers. The Land Rover multi-mode Terrain Response® 2 system optimizes a range of settings, from throttle sensitivity to gear change characteristics, suiting the driving conditions at the turn of a rotary controller(4). Terrain Response 2 can even select the optimum setting automatically if drivers are unsure of the best choice.

When tackling particularly challenging terrain, All-Terrain Progress Control (ATPC) can be programed to maintain a suitable crawl speed as chosen by the driver. The clever technology allows the driver to concentrate solely on steering the vehicle as they negotiate obstacles, without the distraction of operating the throttle or brake pedals, and can also be used from a standstill to help when pulling away on slippery, low traction, surfaces(4).

The all-new Discovery also benefits from lightweight and durable Land Rover aluminum architecture. Similar to the construction on Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the all-new Discovery cuts more than 1,000 pounds from the weight of the outgoing LR4, which used steel ladder construction(3). This weight savings, coupled with an advanced integral link rear suspension, delivers improved handling characteristics and on-road performance without compromising the superb ride comfort that has defined generations of Land Rover vehicles.

Another Land Rover trademark carried over into the all-new model, is a Command Driving Position which helps owners enjoy the vehicle’s enhanced breadth of capability with confidence, on variety of surfaces, terrains and weather conditions, by providing excellent visibility(4).

This confidence extends to towing capability, which has been a hallmark of every generation of Discovery since it was used to tow a train at its original launch in 1989. In the US, the all-new Discovery has a maximum towing capacity of 8,201 pounds(3). This figure is enhanced with the introduction of some clever technology developed to make the towing with the Discovery more accessible than ever.

Advanced Tow Assist allows owners to complete potentially difficult reversing maneuvers when towing trailers with ease(4). The driver’s assistance feature manages the tricky counter-steering required to position trailers accurately when reversing. The driver simply guides the trailer into the desired space with the rotary controller for the Terrain Response 2 system; this is done using responsive guidance lines overlaid on the rear-facing camera feed which are displayed on the central touchscreen, taking the stress out of an otherwise tricky task(4).

A choice of powertrains
The all-new Discovery is powered with the option of both a petrol and diesel engine familiar to the Jaguar Land Rover line-up; each of which is paired with a smooth and responsive ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. They include:

  • The 340-HP supercharged 3.0L petrol V-6 carried over from the LR4. With 332 lb.-ft. of torque on demand, the petrol V-6 delivers high-end responsiveness and excellent passing power.
  • Shared with the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, the all-new Discovery benefits from the introduction of a 254HP turbocharged diesel V-6 that delivers 443 lb.-ft. of torque from as little as 1,750 rpm.

The all-new Discovery will be on sale at North American retailers from mid-2017, starting at $49,990(7). For more information, visit a local retailer or log on to LandRoverUSA.com.

(1) Third row seating is an optional feature on select Discovery models.
(2) The Intelligent Seat Fold feature is included on vehicles equipped with optional seven position power seating.
(3) Depending on the selected Discovery vehicle trim and options.
(4) These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving.  Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.
(5) Land Rover InControl® Remote™ app and data plan with a mobile network operator is required to remotely interact with your vehicle. Intelligent Seat Fold feature on app is included on vehicles equipped with optional seven position power seating.
(6) Do not use Land Rover InControl® features under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control.
(7) All prices shown are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. Excludes $995 destination/handling charge, tax, title, license, and retailer fees, all due at signing, and optional equipment. Retailer price, terms and vehicle availability may vary. See your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details.
(8) Driving while distracted can result in loss of vehicle control. Do not operate, adjust or view the navigation or multimedia systems under conditions that will affect your safety or the safety of others. Only use mobile phones and other devices, even with voice commands, when it is safe to do so. 
(9) Discovery vehicle equipped with the 340HP petrol V-6.
(10 Land Rover InControl® Touch Pro is standard on the HSE trim level and above.
(11) The Wi-Fi hotspot is intended for passenger use only. Land Rover InControl features may require an additional subscription with separate terms and conditions.
(12)Please consult owner's manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for details regarding installation of child safety seats


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      The tires fitted as standard on the all-new BMW M5 (275/40 R 19 at the front and 285/40 R 19 at the rear) have been specially homologated for this vehicle. They are mounted on five-double-spoke cast light-alloy wheels in polished Orbit Grey (front: 9.5 J x 19, rear: 10.5 J x 19). 20-inch seven-double-spoke wheels in black or polished black are available as an option (front: 275/35 R 20, at rear: 285/35 R 20). All wheels are ZR speed rated, making them suitable for the 189 mph top speed achieved with the available M Driver’s Package (155 mph standard).
      The all-new BMW M5 comes with M compound brakes fitted as standard. Being significantly lighter than conventional cast iron units, these have the distinct benefit of reducing unsprung mass. At the front, the braking force is applied to 15.55 x 1.41 [in] perforated, inner-vented brake discs by blue-painted 6-piston fixed calipers featuring the M logo. Single-piston floating caliper brakes see duty at the rear on 14.96 x 1.10 [in] perforated, inner-vented brake discs, with integrated parking brake.
      M carbon-ceramic brakes are also available as an option on the all-new BMW M5. These brakes are instantly recognizable from the gold-colored calipers with M logo 6-piston fixed calipers and 15.74 x 1.49 [in] ventilated brake discs at front; single-piston floating calipers and 14.96 x 1.10 [in] ventilated brake discs at rear, resulting in 50.7 lb reduction of unsprung and rotating masses. This offers many benefits, including improved driving dynamics and increased suspension comfort. More importantly, the M carbon-ceramic brakes provide even better braking performance than M compound brakes, as well as improved fade resistance and even higher thermal stability.
      Sporting M design with distinction. Form driven by function
      “The BMW M5 has always embodied the perfect blend of mature business sedan and high-performance components. So you can think of the BMW M5 as the world’s fastest-moving tailored suit.” These are the words chosen by Domagoj Dukec, Vice President of Design BMW i and BMW M, to sum up the brief for the all-new BMW M5. Like all the models to come out of BMW M GmbH HQ in Garching, its design is M-specific and driven by function. For example, the newly designed front bumper trim, with its larger air intakes, has the task of providing the cooling systems and brakes with the adequate supply of cooling air – even in rigorous use on the racetrack. The car has a wider track than its predecessor, and the front side panels (made from aluminum to reduce weight) bear the signature M gills.
      Also carved from aluminum is the hood, whose precise lines create an eye-catching sculpture and extend visually into the roof. For the first time in the BMW M5, the roof itself is made from extremely lightweight, high-strength carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
      The redesigned rear diffuser, side skirts, the M rear apron and M rear spoiler, play their part in giving the all-new BMW M5 its powerful sporting appearance, and the exterior mirrors have a dynamic, M-specific design. In another example of form following function, the hexagonal central air intake in the front end not only separates itself sculpturally from the side air intakes, it also incorporates the oil cooler.
      The interior focuses squarely on the driver for absolute control in all driving situations. At the same time, the BMW M5 offers space for up to four passengers, a large trunk and excellent ride comfort. As a high-performance sports car and business sedan in one, it blends the best of both worlds.
      The driver is at the heart of the action. Equipment without compromise
      When it comes to the equipment on board the all-new BMW M5, dynamic driving experience is king. The center-point is the driver’s seat, from where all switches and buttons can be operated with optimum ergonomic convenience. All of the car’s functions are located directly in the driver’s eye line. The large digital instrument cluster from the BMW 5 Series has an M-specific design and keeps the driver informed on the driving dynamic mode, M xDrive all-wheel-drive system setting and Drivelogic option currently engaged. Key elements for the sporty driver are the variable rpm pre-warning field and shift lights that show the best time to shift gears. This data can also be reflected into the M-specific Head-Up Display.
      Virtually all of the driving dynamic systems can be configured using the central touchscreen display, buttons on the center console or M sports steering wheel, and the central information display offers BMW Gesture control. The M5’s engine is brought to life by pressing the red starter button. Among the essential features for drivers wanting to customize the driving dynamics are the new two red-painted M1 and M2 buttons next to the gearshift paddles on the M multifunction steering wheel, which allow drivers to configure two individual set-ups. These include their choice of M xDrive, DSC, engine, transmission, damper and steering characteristics, as well as the appearance of M view in the Head-Up Display.
      The all-new BMW M5 is trimmed with Extended Merino leather as standard. The driver and front passenger settle into M Multifunction seats with electric adjustment, seat heating and electric adjustment for the seat depth, and pneumatic backrest width adjustment deliver optimum lateral support. The M Multifunction seats feature integral head restraints that provide even better support in the shoulder area, an illuminated M5 logo and extended functions. With their racing-style bucket shape and the thicker side bolsters of the seat surface and backrest, the M multifunction seats offer even greater lateral support. For the first time, the M5 is now also available with all the driver assistance systems featured in the new BMW 5 Series.
      The all-new BMW M5 is available in a variety of exterior colors, some of which are reserved exclusively for the M5. New additions to the spectrum include Marina Bay Blue Metallic, an intense shade of blue. Inside the car, exclusive aluminum applications with a carbon-structure provide a special sporting flourish.
      The BMW M5 First Edition. Limited-run special edition with exclusive specification
      First come, first served is the motto as BMW M GmbH launches the all-new BMW M5 with the option of a “First Edition” special-edition model limited to a worldwide run of 400 examples with 50 units coming to the US. The 2018 BMW M5 First Edition will be available starting spring of 2018 with pricing announced closer to market launch.
      The all-new BMW M5 First Edition has exclusive Frozen Dark Red Metallic paintwork and includes BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim with extended features. This means that the kidney grille, the M gills and the four tailpipes of the sports exhaust all come in high-gloss black. The M5 First Edition is fitted as standard with 20-inch seven-double-spoke light-alloy wheels in black.
      The BMW M5 First Edition also has an individual flavor inside. The Piano Finish Black applications are complemented by a plaque on the center console indicating the car’s production number (“M5 First Edition 1/400”), pointing to the exclusivity of this BMW M5. The M5 First Edition comes a
       

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    • By William Maley
      Whenever there is a new 5-Series, the countdown clock is started for the arrival of high-performance M5. Today, the clock hit zero as BMW unveiled the 2018 M5.
      Under the hood lies a familiar twin-turbo 4.4L V8 with 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque - healthy increases of 40 and 53 respectively. A new eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission choice, sorry manual lovers. The 2018 M5 also comes with the M xDrive system which can either send power to all four wheels or just the rear wheels if you want to some smoky drifts. 60 mph comes in 3.2 seconds and can hit a top speed of 155 mph (189 mph if you opt for the M Driver's Package).
      BMW has also done a bit of work to the M5's suspension with new wheel bearings, firmer anti-roll bars, and a steel x-brace. 15.5-inch steel rotors with six-piston calipers up front and single-piston calipers in the rear help bring the M5 to a stop. A set of carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option. There has also been a bit of weight loss with aluminum being used for the hood and front fenders and carbon fiber for the roof.
      There is a special edition of the M5 called the First Edition that is limited to 400 models worldwide, with 50 of those coming to the U.S. First Edition models stand out from the standard M5 with Frozen Dark Red Metallic paint, gloss black used on the grille and tailpipes; and a set of 20-inch black wheels.
      The 2018 M5 arrives in the U.S. next spring.
      Source: BMW
      Press Release is on Page 2
      The All-New 2018 BMW M5: The Quintessential High-Performance Sedan
      The 6th generation BMW M5 is the quickest most technologically advanced M-vehicle to date: 0–60 mph in a lightning-quick 3.2 seconds; 0–124 mph in just 11.1 seconds. Top speed: 189 mph with optional M Driver’s Package. The latest generation M TwinPower Turbo technology 4.4-liter V8 engine develops 600 hp and peak torque of 553 lb-ft. Debut of the first ever BMW M xDrive system with 2WD capability. M compound brakes fitted as standard. Available M carbon ceramic brakes provide a 50 lb. unsprung weight reduction. Like all M models, the chassis was honed on the world’s most challenging race circuit, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Reduced weight by intelligent use of materials such as a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof and a weight-optimized exhaust system. Exceptional performance both in day-to-day driving and on the racetrack. BMW M5 First Edition with exclusive specification available in limited 50 unit run in the US. Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 21, 2017… Today, BMW unveiled the all-new 2018 BMW M5, a car that since 1984 has been regarded as the quintessential high-performance sports sedan. The previous generations of the BMW M5 all possess purebred racing genes and acquitted themselves impressively on the racetrack as well as on the road. The all-new BMW M5 represents the 6th generation and, like those that have come before it, delivers on these promises – and more. The all-new 2018 M5 will also debut the M-specific all-wheel-drive system, M xDrive. This new system allows the M5 to reach new heights of dynamic performance and delivers poise in all driving situations. Frank van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management at BMW M GmbH, explains the benefits of this pioneering drivetrain technology: “Thanks to M xDrive, the all-new BMW M5 can be piloted with the familiar blend of sportiness and unerring accuracy both on the racetrack and out on the open road, while also delighting drivers with its significantly enhanced directional stability and controllability right up to the limits of performance when driving in adverse conditions such as on wet roads or snow.” When the engine is first started, the all-new BMW M5 will be in all-wheel-drive mode (4WD) with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) turned on. The driver is then able to vary the handling characteristics of the M5 by enabling various driving dynamics modes, including a rear-wheel-drive mode with no DSC. In this 2WD mode, the all-new BMW M5 offers drivers the opportunity to experience BMW’s traditional rear-wheel drive characteristics.
      Under the hood of the all-new BMW M5 is the latest and most advanced version of the renowned 4.4-liter V8 engine featuring M TwinPower Turbo technology with an output increase from the previous generation of 40 hp and 53 lb-ft, this new engine develops 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of peak torque to promise explosive acceleration and formidable performance. The twin-turbo V8 unit propels the M5 via the new 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and teams up with the M xDrive system to transfer all of the high-revving turbocharged engine’s might to the road, and allows a 0–60 mph acceleration run in a mere 3.2 seconds, making it the quickest and most agile to date.
      The all-new 2018 BMW M5 will be available at certified BMW Centers in spring 2018 with pricing to be announced closer to market launch.
      M TwinPower Turbo, M xDrive and the 8-speed M Steptronic transmission
      The all-new BMW M5 features a 4.4-liter V8 engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology. The high-revving power unit in the all-new BMW M5 has received a thorough overhaul and delivers its exceptional output of 600 hp from 5,700 to 6,600 rpm, while the tremendous peak torque of 553 lb-ft is on tap from just 1,800 rpm and remains constant all the way up to 5,700 rpm. The engine characteristics can be changed at the push of a button from the basic Efficient setting to either Sport or Sport Plus, resulting in a more crisp response to movements of the accelerator.
      The M engineers have implemented a raft of enhancements to endow the twin-turbo V8 with its phenomenal performance capabilities. These include newly developed twin-scroll turbochargers now delivering 24.46 psi of relative boost pressure as well as a higher maximum injection pressure of 350 bar (up from 200 bar). This allows shorter injection times and improved atomization of the fuel for sharper engine response as well as more efficient mixture preparation. Improvements have also been made to the lubrication and cooling systems, including an oil pan with a small front sump and new indirect charge air cooling units, which are more effective than its predecessor despite being almost 20% smaller in size. The oil supply system uses a fully variable, map-controlled pump and has been designed for weekend escapades to the racetrack, where it can handle very high levels of longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
      The cross-bank exhaust manifolds for the all-new BMW M5 have also been modified to optimize the flow of energy from the exhaust gas to the turbine wheels of the two twin-scroll turbochargers ensuring the best possible gas-exchange cycle. By fitting a Helmholtz resonator between the two silencers of the dual exhaust system, the M engineers have reduced its weight by 11 lbs. The sound from the active flap-controlled exhaust system varies depending on the selected mode for the engine characteristics, while the M Sound Control button allows further acoustic customization.
      The twin-scroll twin-turbo V8’s power is channeled to the road via the newly developed M xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The rear-biased set-up ensures that the front wheels only come into play when the rear wheels are not able to transmit any more torque to the road and additional tractive force is required. The main hardware components of M xDrive are based on the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and the Active M Differential technology. Central M specific driving dynamics control software precisely to orchestrate the various components, providing enhanced traction, agility and directional stability at all times.
      The reinforced drivetrain allows it to cope with the higher torque, the rear-biased configuration and the 2WD mode. While the transfer case intelligently splits the drive torque between the front and rear wheels, the Active M Differential is responsible for then distributing the drive flow between the rear wheels varying the locking effect as the situation demands. With M xDrive, stabilizing interventions from the DSC system are only required in extreme situations, enabling the engine’s tremendous power to be converted into propulsive force with virtually zero losses. The M xDrive system allows drivers to command the all-new BMW M5 with even greater precision and directional accuracy to respond sensitively and directly to the driver’s inputs, which in turn enable fewer steering corrections when driving at the limit.
      Drivers can configure M xDrive at any time to suit their needs. Even in the default setting with both DSC and 4WD activated, the all-new BMW M5 allows a certain amount of slip at the rear wheels when accelerating out of corners to produce the agility for which M models are renowned while remaining perfectly controllable at all times. The all-wheel drive’s traction helps to produce acceleration times that are worthy of super-sports cars: 0–60 mph in a breathtaking 3.2 seconds and 0–124 mph in just 11.1 seconds.
      Switching to the M Dynamic mode (MDM, 4WD Sport) gives additional boost to the car’s handling agility. In this mode, more drive torque is directed to the rear axle, while the amount of permissible rear wheel slip is increased. While doing so, the onset of oversteer is noticeable in good time and the linear increase of the sideslip angle means that the vehicle remains stable.
      The three modes available with the DSC system switched off have been configured keeping track driving in mind. The 4WD mode is set up for the greatest possible controllability and traction, and already offers plenty of scope for exploring the dynamic performance capabilities of the all-new BMW M5. The 4WD Sport mode, meanwhile, with its blend of steering precision, agile handling and reassuring traction, guarantees maximum enjoyment and consistent lap times. The pure rear-wheel-drive mode (2WD) has been designed with the experienced and highly skilled driver in mind. This opens up the same thrilling experience already offered by past generations of the M5.
      The new 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic has been strictly geared towards high-performance duty while the wide ratio spread helps to optimize fuel efficiency. The transmission has been engineered so the torque converter lock-up clutch fully engages once the car has pulled away, proving instantaneous response. Lightning-fast gear changes with optimal gear ratio spacing ensure that even the most demanding driver will appreciate its technological prowess. The driver can choose between fully automatic shifting in D mode, or opt for sequential gearshifts via the new short gear selector on the center console or the M shift paddles on the steering wheel.
      The transmission’s shift mapping can be modified using the Drivelogic rocker switch in the gear selector. Drivelogic mode 1 corresponds to efficient driving. Mode 2 lends itself to sporty driving with its shortened shift times. Drivelogic mode 3 is optimized for high-sporty driving on the track thanks to its extremely short shift times. Those preferring to shift gears manually can also execute multiple downshifts to the lowest available gear, for instance when braking into tight corners. With manual mode engaged, there are no automatic upshifts when the engine is revved to the limit either. A transmission oil cooler ensures flawless transmission operation even when the car is put through its paces on the track.
      Newly Developed chassis technology. A new benchmark in driving dynamics
      The goal of the team responsible for tuning the all-new BMW M5 chassis was to achieve unbeatable driving dynamics with maximum directional stability. As is usual for BMW M GmbH, the tuning took place in part on the company’s own race circuit at Miramas in the south of France, as well as on the world’s toughest test track, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
      The precise, agile handling that drivers have come to expect from previous generations of the M5 has been optimized for the all-new car. Individual driver needs are met by the wide range of options for configuring the vehicle, including M xDrive, the 8-speed M Steptronic with Drivelogic, the M-specific Variable Damper Control (incl. three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus) with electronically controlled shock absorbers, and M Servotronic steering (incl. three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus). A top priority when tuning the chassis of the all-new BMW M5 was to achieve neutral steering behavior with linear build-up of transverse loads across the full range of lateral acceleration. Whatever the driving situation, the electromechanical M Servotronic steering delivers exactly the right amount of steering torque. This ensures that the all-new BMW M5 has accurate steering and always communicates clear feedback to the driver. What’s more, because of all of these systems the car is great for long-distance driving or touring along the city thanks to the low steering force required for maneuvering and parking.
      The familiar double-wishbone suspension from the front axle of the BMW 5 Series has been reworked from the ground up for the all-new BMW M5 with M xDrive. M engineers have redesigned every component to factor in M-specific kinematic and elastokinematic characteristics. Directional stability is greater than ever thanks to the increased track width. The five-link rear suspension has also been modified to meet M-specific requirements. Optimized firmer anti-roll bars and new toe links featuring stiffer rubber mounts help accommodate the increased demands on the driving dynamics and steering precision. Specially developed for the M5, the elastomer bearings on the rear axle mounts ensure that there is no delay in transferring chassis forces, which makes for direct handling. An additional steel X-brace and an aluminum transverse strut increase the stiffness of the chassis linkages at the rear axle, resulting in improved response. Additional chassis modifications not visible externally perform functions that are no less important. For example, an aluminum tower-to-bulkhead and tower-to-frontend strut braces enhance stiffness at the front of the car.
      The complete chassis and powertrain package put together by the BMW M engineers is so detailed that even experienced racers like former Formula One star and BMW works driver Timo Glock are impressed: “Thanks to M xDrive, the new BMW M5 goes beyond the precise, agile drive that we’ve come to expect – it also serves up a noticeable boost in traction and controllability, both in everyday situations and at the dynamic limit.”
      The tires fitted as standard on the all-new BMW M5 (275/40 R 19 at the front and 285/40 R 19 at the rear) have been specially homologated for this vehicle. They are mounted on five-double-spoke cast light-alloy wheels in polished Orbit Grey (front: 9.5 J x 19, rear: 10.5 J x 19). 20-inch seven-double-spoke wheels in black or polished black are available as an option (front: 275/35 R 20, at rear: 285/35 R 20). All wheels are ZR speed rated, making them suitable for the 189 mph top speed achieved with the available M Driver’s Package (155 mph standard).
      The all-new BMW M5 comes with M compound brakes fitted as standard. Being significantly lighter than conventional cast iron units, these have the distinct benefit of reducing unsprung mass. At the front, the braking force is applied to 15.55 x 1.41 [in] perforated, inner-vented brake discs by blue-painted 6-piston fixed calipers featuring the M logo. Single-piston floating caliper brakes see duty at the rear on 14.96 x 1.10 [in] perforated, inner-vented brake discs, with integrated parking brake.
      M carbon-ceramic brakes are also available as an option on the all-new BMW M5. These brakes are instantly recognizable from the gold-colored calipers with M logo 6-piston fixed calipers and 15.74 x 1.49 [in] ventilated brake discs at front; single-piston floating calipers and 14.96 x 1.10 [in] ventilated brake discs at rear, resulting in 50.7 lb reduction of unsprung and rotating masses. This offers many benefits, including improved driving dynamics and increased suspension comfort. More importantly, the M carbon-ceramic brakes provide even better braking performance than M compound brakes, as well as improved fade resistance and even higher thermal stability.
      Sporting M design with distinction. Form driven by function
      “The BMW M5 has always embodied the perfect blend of mature business sedan and high-performance components. So you can think of the BMW M5 as the world’s fastest-moving tailored suit.” These are the words chosen by Domagoj Dukec, Vice President of Design BMW i and BMW M, to sum up the brief for the all-new BMW M5. Like all the models to come out of BMW M GmbH HQ in Garching, its design is M-specific and driven by function. For example, the newly designed front bumper trim, with its larger air intakes, has the task of providing the cooling systems and brakes with the adequate supply of cooling air – even in rigorous use on the racetrack. The car has a wider track than its predecessor, and the front side panels (made from aluminum to reduce weight) bear the signature M gills.
      Also carved from aluminum is the hood, whose precise lines create an eye-catching sculpture and extend visually into the roof. For the first time in the BMW M5, the roof itself is made from extremely lightweight, high-strength carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
      The redesigned rear diffuser, side skirts, the M rear apron and M rear spoiler, play their part in giving the all-new BMW M5 its powerful sporting appearance, and the exterior mirrors have a dynamic, M-specific design. In another example of form following function, the hexagonal central air intake in the front end not only separates itself sculpturally from the side air intakes, it also incorporates the oil cooler.
      The interior focuses squarely on the driver for absolute control in all driving situations. At the same time, the BMW M5 offers space for up to four passengers, a large trunk and excellent ride comfort. As a high-performance sports car and business sedan in one, it blends the best of both worlds.
      The driver is at the heart of the action. Equipment without compromise
      When it comes to the equipment on board the all-new BMW M5, dynamic driving experience is king. The center-point is the driver’s seat, from where all switches and buttons can be operated with optimum ergonomic convenience. All of the car’s functions are located directly in the driver’s eye line. The large digital instrument cluster from the BMW 5 Series has an M-specific design and keeps the driver informed on the driving dynamic mode, M xDrive all-wheel-drive system setting and Drivelogic option currently engaged. Key elements for the sporty driver are the variable rpm pre-warning field and shift lights that show the best time to shift gears. This data can also be reflected into the M-specific Head-Up Display.
      Virtually all of the driving dynamic systems can be configured using the central touchscreen display, buttons on the center console or M sports steering wheel, and the central information display offers BMW Gesture control. The M5’s engine is brought to life by pressing the red starter button. Among the essential features for drivers wanting to customize the driving dynamics are the new two red-painted M1 and M2 buttons next to the gearshift paddles on the M multifunction steering wheel, which allow drivers to configure two individual set-ups. These include their choice of M xDrive, DSC, engine, transmission, damper and steering characteristics, as well as the appearance of M view in the Head-Up Display.
      The all-new BMW M5 is trimmed with Extended Merino leather as standard. The driver and front passenger settle into M Multifunction seats with electric adjustment, seat heating and electric adjustment for the seat depth, and pneumatic backrest width adjustment deliver optimum lateral support. The M Multifunction seats feature integral head restraints that provide even better support in the shoulder area, an illuminated M5 logo and extended functions. With their racing-style bucket shape and the thicker side bolsters of the seat surface and backrest, the M multifunction seats offer even greater lateral support. For the first time, the M5 is now also available with all the driver assistance systems featured in the new BMW 5 Series.
      The all-new BMW M5 is available in a variety of exterior colors, some of which are reserved exclusively for the M5. New additions to the spectrum include Marina Bay Blue Metallic, an intense shade of blue. Inside the car, exclusive aluminum applications with a carbon-structure provide a special sporting flourish.
      The BMW M5 First Edition. Limited-run special edition with exclusive specification
      First come, first served is the motto as BMW M GmbH launches the all-new BMW M5 with the option of a “First Edition” special-edition model limited to a worldwide run of 400 examples with 50 units coming to the US. The 2018 BMW M5 First Edition will be available starting spring of 2018 with pricing announced closer to market launch.
      The all-new BMW M5 First Edition has exclusive Frozen Dark Red Metallic paintwork and includes BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line trim with extended features. This means that the kidney grille, the M gills and the four tailpipes of the sports exhaust all come in high-gloss black. The M5 First Edition is fitted as standard with 20-inch seven-double-spoke light-alloy wheels in black.
      The BMW M5 First Edition also has an individual flavor inside. The Piano Finish Black applications are complemented by a plaque on the center console indicating the car’s production number (“M5 First Edition 1/400”), pointing to the exclusivity of this BMW M5. The M5 First Edition comes a
       
    • By William Maley
      Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.
      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Sometimes, you find yourself scratching your head as you struggle to think if any more can be said about a vehicle. The two vehicles seen here, the 2017 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee have been reviewed by me numerous times - Durango has two, while the Grand Cherokee stands at three. Not much has changed on either vehicle since I last reviewed them. This puts me in a bit of quandary: What do I talk about? The answer was to delve into the trims themselves and figure out if they are worth the cash.
      The Grand Cherokee seen here is the top-line Summit. Jeep updated this trim last year with new front end treatment consisting of a new grille and LED fog lights. The exterior changes for the Summit do sharpen up the Grand Cherokee, a design which should be noted that has been around since 2011. One design touch we really like are the set optional 20-inch aluminum wheels as they dress up the Grand Cherokee quite nicely. The larger wheels don’t affect ride quality as the Grand Cherokee’s suspension turns bumps into light ripples. Road and wind noise are kept to very acceptable levels.
      The interior now has the option of the “Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package” that brings a leather covering for the dash and center console, and premium leather upholstery for the seats and door panels. My test vehicle came with this package and I am not sure its worth the $4,995. The key reason comes down to the leather used for the seats. I can’t tell the difference between the leather upholstery used for this package and the one used on lesser trims. Aside from this, the Summit retains many of the plus points found on other Grand Cherokees such as a roomy interior, simple infotainment system, and excellent build quality. 
      The Summit begins at $50,495 for two-wheel drive and $53,495 for four-wheel drive. Our test vehicle came to an as-tested price of $60,675 with the leather package, skid plates, and 20-inch wheels. The upside to the Summit is you get most everything as standard such as navigation, premium audio system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power liftgate. Personally, I would skip all of the options as fitted to our test vehicle and get a base Summit.
      Now on to the Durango. This one is the GT which can be best described as the R/T minus the V8. This means you get similar exterior tweaks such as a body color grille surround, black mesh inserts, LED daytime running lights, and 20-inch wheels finished in black. Our model came with the Brass Monkey appearance package which adds brushed bronze wheels and blacked-out badges. This makes for a mean looking crossover that doesn’t break the bank - the Brass Monkey package will only set you back $595. The GT is also quite confident in the bends with minimal body roll and nicely weighted steering. 
      Downsides? The Durango is starting to show its age inside. Various materials and the plain design put the Durango towards the back of the pack of the current crossover crop. Also, the value equation for the Durango can go downward with the number of options you add. The test Durango seen here comes with an as-tested of $49,660 with most the option boxes ticked. Not an absurd amount for a three-row crossover, but the Durango is missing out on features that many models feature such as adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and compatibility for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
      You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the powertrain. That’s because both models feature the same 3.6L Pentastar V6 producing 295 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic. I have written a lot about this powertrain on both models before and my opinion hasn’t changed. The engine offers strong low-end power and minimal NVH levels. The automatic transmission, for the most part, does a decent job of being in the right gear at the right time. Though we found the transmission to be somewhat slow to respond whenever heavy throttle was suddenly applied. Fuel economy for both models landed around 20 mpg.
      Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango are still competitive in their respective classes, despite getting up there in age. Just be careful with your option selection as it can make both models very poor values.
      Disclaimer: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Provided the Vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Durango
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,987 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $40,095
      As Tested Price: $49,660 (Includes $1,095 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Group - $2,395
      Rear Entertainment System- $1,995
      Safety/Security and Convenience Group - $1,195
      Second-Row Captain Chairs - $995
      Trailer Tow Group IV - $995
      Brass Monkey Appearance Group - $595
      Second-Row Console - $300
      Year: 2017
      Make: Jeep
      Model: Grand Cherokee
      Trim: Summit
      Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT with ESS
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,400
      Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,952 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Detroit, Michigan
      Base Price: $53,995
      As Tested Price: $60,675 (Includes $995 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Signature Leather-Wrapped Interior Package - $4,995
      Summit California Edition - $995
      Skid Plate Group - $295
    • By William Maley
      The Volkswagen Jetta is an outlier in the compact class. Whereas other automakers have been stepping up with sharper designs, more tech, and improved driving dynamics, Volkswagen went in a completely different direction by offering the biggest amount of interior space for not that much money. But to accomplish this, Volkswagen made a number of sacrifices in terms of design, materials, and mechanical bits. This put the Jetta way behind the pack of the fresh competition. 
      But Volkswagen has been working to try and right some of the wrongs of the Jetta. A couple of years ago, Volkswagen updated the model with a new front end, new dashboard, and a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder to take place of the decrepit 2.0L. It salvages the Jetta’s reputation somewhat.
      The current Jetta is slightly better in terms of looks. A new front end with a larger grille and headlights with LED daytime running lights help make the model look more interesting to look at. Sadly, the rest of vehicle is as nondescript as before with nothing that jumps out at you. If you were to ask a small kid to draw a car, it would most likely look like the Jetta. If you ever wanted a master class of in how not to do an interior, the Jetta is a perfect candidate. Whereas most compact sedans show marked improvements in design and materials, the Jetta is like stepping back a decade or so. Our mid-level SE came with a large amount of cheap and hard plastics that you don’t see most compacts now - aside from the base models. The mostly black interior makes for a dreary experience. On the upside, Volkswagen has improved the dash by taking some ideas from the Golf. A new instrument cluster and revised center stack layout helps make the Jetta not feel as cheap as the previous model. It also makes for an easier time to find various controls and reading things at a quick glance. All Jettas get Volkswagen’s Car-Net infotainment system. The base S makes do with a 5-inch touchscreen, while the SE and higher trims use a 6.3-inch screen. Car-Net is one of the best infotainment systems on sale today thanks to a sharp interface, simple layout of the various functions, and the ability to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Space is the Jetta’s key selling point. The back seat alone dwarfs most compacts and even gives some midsize sedans a run for their money. Sitting back here, I could stretch out with no issue. The trunk is also huge, offering up 15.7 cubic feet. I do wish the front seats were a bit more comfortable. Most of the week found me constantly adjusting the seat to try and find a position that wouldn’t cause me to ache after a drive. The SE comes with a turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder offering 150 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Our test vehicle came with the standard five-speed manual, but a six-speed automatic is available.  On paper, the 1.4T should be a strong engine as it offers the same torque figure as the larger 1.8T at a lower rpm (1,400 rpm vs. 1,500 rpm). In the real world, this doesn’t happen. You’ll need to get the engine above 2,000 rpm to wake it up. At first, I thought we were dealing with a bad case of turbo lag. But further investigation revealed the five-speed manual is at fault. Volkswagen used taller gearing to make up for a missing sixth gear and improve fuel economy. I can’t help but wonder if the six-speed automatic alleviates this issue. Once you figure this out, the 1.4T is a surprising performer. Speed comes on at a rapid rate once your above 2,000 rpm. The engine is also very smooth and makes a pleasant noise when accelerating. The manual is somewhat difficult to work as the gear linkage feels somewhat stiff when moving through the gears. The clutch is light and it’s easy to find the take-off point. EPA fuel economy figures for the 1.4T manual stand at 28 City/40 Highway/33 Combined. I saw an average of 35 mpg that was a mix of 70 percent city driving and 30 percent highway driving. The automatic sees a slight drop in fuel economy to 28/38/32. One item we’re glad to see the lesser Jetta models get is a multilink rear suspension - replacing the rear beam axle of previous models. This makes a huge difference in ride and handling. On rough roads, the Jetta provides a compliant and comfortable ride. Handling is almost similar to the Golf Wolfsburg I drove earlier in the year - little body roll and excellent steering response. The SE seen here came with an as-tested price of $21,795 with destination. That includes 16-inch alloy wheels, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, keyless entry, push-button start, cruise control, and a power sunroof. The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is much better than the model that was launched only five years ago. But that isn’t saying a lot considering how much the compact class has moved up in this time frame. Price may be the Jetta’s ultimate strength as it offers a lot of features for the money with the 1.4T engine and interior space running slightly behind. Everywhere else, the Jetta is outmatched. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Jetta, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Jetta
      Trim: SE
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.4L 16V TSI Four-Cylinder 
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 5,000 
      Torque @ RPM: 184 @ 1,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 28/40/33
      Curb Weight: 2,939 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
      Base Price: $20,895
      As Tested Price: $21,715 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

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