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William Maley

2018 Ford Expedition Drops 300 Pounds Thanks To Aluminum: Comments

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The current-generation Ford Expedition has been with since 2003 and despite the refreshes and engine changes that have in the past few years, it was time for a new model. Today, Ford unveiled the next-generation Expedition.

The big news is the Expedition's body switches from steel to aluminum, dropping curb weight by 300 pounds. In terms of design, the Expedition's lines have been smoothed out along with a new front end that is similar to the Explorer. There will be two versions of the Expedition - the standard wheelbase (adds four inches to overall length, three inches in wheelbase) and Expedition Max (renamed version of the EL).

The interior becomes a bit smarter thanks to a new dash that is borrowed from the F-150. The Expedition can seat up to eight and features a sliding second row that offers tip-and-slide functionality - allows you to enter the third row without removing a child's seat. On the tech front, the Expedition gets Sync 3, Sync connect with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility; wireless device charging in the center console, six USB ports, and the option of 4G LTE wireless internet access.

The Expedition is sticking with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 as its only engine. Ford isn't talking power figures, but we wouldn't be shocked if it matches the F-150's 375 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic routes power to either the rear or all four wheels. 

The 2018 Ford Expedition will go on sale this fall in XLT, Limited, and Platinum. A base XL model will only be offered to fleets. Expect pricing and power figures sometime before then.

Source: Ford
Press Release is on Page 2


ALL-NEW FORD EXPEDITION REDEFINES FULL-SIZE SUVS WITH ADAPTABLE INTERIOR, SMART TECHNOLOGY FOR EVERY OCCUPANT

  • All-new Ford Expedition – the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever – provides families generous space, connectivity and smart new technology for their next adventures
  • Flexible seating and storage solutions include second-row tip-and-slide seating that provides easy access to the third row even when child seats are installed; new, more powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission are expected to deliver the best towing capability of any full-size SUV
  • Ford introduces the all-new Expedition today with an assist from the Dallas Cowboys in Texas – America’s best-selling full-size SUV market; Dallas firefighters join Ford to surprise a local first responder with an all-new Expedition

DALLAS, Feb. 7, 2017 – For today’s active families, Ford introduces the all-new Expedition – the smartest, most capable and most adaptable Expedition ever – with technology to keep every passenger connected, more power for drivers, and more expected towing capability than any other full-size SUV.

The all-new Expedition makes its debut today with an assist from the Dallas Cowboys in Texas – America’s best-selling full-size SUV market.

“When Expedition was introduced 20 years ago, it set the standard for active families who simply needed a big and strong SUV to take them places,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas. “Today’s families want even more smart technology to help them cover more ground safely, more efficiently and more comfortably – all while staying connected to friends and family.”

Smartest Expedition ever

The all-new Expedition offers more driver-assist technology than any other full-size SUV.

In addition, an all-new high-strength, aluminum-alloy body and redesigned high-strength steel frame form the foundation for Expedition’s rugged off-road and strong towing capabilities. Thanks to the use of advanced materials, the all-new Expedition saves up to 300 pounds, and the team reinvested that weight savings everywhere it counts to give customers more technology and convenience features than ever before.

More than 40 features and driver-assist technologies new to Expedition help make the journey as enjoyable as the destination.

These include class-exclusive enhanced active park assist to easily pull in and out of parking spots, as well as available 360-degree camera technology to help customers see more around their Expedition for easier parking.

On the road, Expedition’s lane-keeping aid is designed to reduce unintentional drifting of the vehicle outside its intended lane, while adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go allows drivers to set a cruising speed, using radar and camera technology to monitor traffic to maintain a set distance between vehicles.

Its collision avoidance detection system helps drivers avoid other vehicles or pedestrians, while available Blind Spot Information System helps monitor blind spots outside the driver’s immediate view.

In addition, Expedition offers available new connectivity technologies and convenience features, including:

  • Wireless charging; Expedition is Ford’s first vehicle to feature this system, which allows customers to place compatible mobile devices on an integrated charging pad conveniently located in the front center console
  • Wi-Fi hotspot supports as many as 10 devices at once, up to 50 feet away from the vehicle
  • Dual-headrest rear seat entertainment system provides a next-generation video experience that allows passengers to view their home cable programming on either of two video screens or hand-held devices
  • SYNC® 3, with both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capability, allows drivers to stay connected on the move
  • SYNC Connect lets owners connect with the vehicle remotely using FordPass® to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from anywhere, while also allowing access to important vehicle diagnostic information
  • Power for passengers in every row, with four 12-volt power points, six USB chargers and a 110-volt power outlet that lets passengers stay charged and connected
  • 12-speaker B&O PLAY premium audio system perfected by acoustic engineers for a sound experience even audiophiles will appreciate
  • Advanced cargo manager with an adjustable shelf behind the third row lets owners create a storage space customized to whatever they’re hauling; even when parked on a hill, cargo won’t roll out the back of Expedition when the liftgate is opened
  • Panoramic Vista Roof spans two rows, a feature not offered by any competitor

Most capable Expedition ever

Powered by a 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine with standard Auto Start-Stop plus a class-exclusive new 10-speed automatic transmission, the all-new Expedition is the most powerful Expedition ever. A newly available electronic limited-slip differential on models with Intelligent 4WD enables improved off-road capability by sending power where it’s needed.

More than 50 percent of Expedition customers value towing, and 15 percent tow weekly or monthly. That’s why the all-new Expedition offers Pro Trailer Backup Assist, which makes backing up a trailer as easy as turning a knob.

Plus, an available hands-free liftgate makes loading cargo easy.

Most adaptable Expedition ever

The all-new Expedition has a roomy, flexible interior. With seating for up to eight people and their gear, this full-size SUV makes modern family adventures more comfortable during short and long trips alike.

The all-new Expedition is the first full-size utility to feature a sliding second-row seat with tip-and-slide functionality, providing easy access to the third row without the need to first remove a child safety seat. Once in the third row, even adults will appreciate more legroom and reclining seats.

Expedition’s second- and third-row seats can be quickly folded flat with the push of a button to open up a cargo area wide enough to handle 4x8-foot sheets of plywood and other gear, depending on cargo weight and load distribution, even with the liftgate closed.

Even the drive is more adaptable, with Expedition’s all-new Terrain Management System™ that lets customers choose between drive modes for optimal vehicle handling in different conditions. This includes normal for around-town driving, sport for more spirited trips, tow/haul for improved towing and hauling performance, eco for enhanced fuel economy, grass/gravel/snow for loose terrain, sand for low traction situations, and mud/rut for uneven surfaces.

Revealed today

The all-new Ford Expedition is being unveiled at Ford Center at The Star with Stephen Jones, Dallas Cowboys chief operating officer and executive vice president.

Last fall, Ford and the Dallas Cowboys surprised Dallas firefighters of Station 43 by refurbishing their station. Ford is now working with both the Cowboys and the fire station to surprise a local first responder with an all-new Expedition to continue his unstoppable level of service and enable new family adventures.

The all-new Expedition is available in XLT, Limited and Platinum series. In addition, an XL version is available for fleet customers, from law enforcement to emergency services. To help customers choose the right amount of interior room for their families, all series are available on the extended-length Expedition MAX.

The all-new Expedition is part of Ford’s plan to grow its SUV leadership with five new vehicles for North America in the next four years.

The all-new Expedition arrives this fall. It is built at Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky. 

 


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Very much an improvement over the current Expy and using the new F-Series interior helps a lot but that profile screams Suburban and the nose makes it look like a full size Explorer, which is already a few years old.

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Surreal I was thinking the same thing. It looks like it could be the 4th iteration of the K2xx triplets, but the boring and older one. That  375 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque possibility is a signal to GM that its time to bump it up on the 5.3L or make the 6.2L an Option across the board, with the Escalade and Denali getting themselves some more power

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I think it looks good.  I am not a big SUV fan, but I like the looks of this more than a Tahoe or Armada or whatever else is out there.   The 10 speed and ecoboost is a nice combo, I am surprised the base model doesn't have a 2.7 ecoboost V6, but I guess they figured the model mix would be low.  I still remember when the original Expedition had a 4.6 liter V8 with 210 hp, they have come a long way in 20 years.  The interior looks pretty sharp too for a truck and the class they are in.  I think this will do pretty well with market share in the segment.

 

As far as the GM 5.3 and 6.2 V8s, GM needs to start looking at turbo engines.  Even the 6.2 V8 makes less torque than Ford's 3.5 V6.  Just like time caught up to the 3800 V6 in family sedans, time is catching up to the pushrod V8, it may have passed the 5.3 V8 by already.

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Thinking it will see a decent size price increase as well.....moving up to the XLT trim gives it a bunch of goodies to start.

MIght be best this way anyways.....

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Solid Competitor to the Tahoe / Suburban. Past that, Meh on the interior, just something about the layout that does nothing for me. Nice update by Ford.

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Certainly an improvement over the last, but i am less than impressed.  the stling is very derivative of the Current GM fullsize SUVs and even the Durango.  Also, while 300 pounds of weightloss sounds great it STILL leaves the Espedition a good 200+ pounds heavie than the GM SUVs, which would not be a big deal except that there was heavy use of expensive Aluminum just for weight-loss. 

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21 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

IRS vs Solid rear axle alone has to be a hundred pounds plus the features the Expedition has that the Tahoe/Suburban don't have.. @FordCosworth you posted info on this, didn't you? Where was that at?

Three features the GM twins don't have

 

10 speed auto

3.5L Ecoboost V6

aluminum. 

 

Thats all I could find (although there may be more that I'm missing) making it's extra weight even more of a mystery. 

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25 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

IRS vs Solid rear axle alone has to be a hundred pounds plus the features the Expedition has that the Tahoe/Suburban don't have.. @FordCosworth you posted info on this, didn't you? Where was that at?

He posted it in the Random thread:

We have this...

" Ford claims the 2018 Expedition has 40 new-to-the-model features and optional driver-assist technologies. Maneuvering is made easier with a 360-degree camera, parking sensors, and trailer backup assist. It also will offer lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning with automatic braking, and blind-spot monitoring. " 

C&D

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It's all a mystery until the vehicle is actually put on a scale and the new truck is explained more in detail vs the outgoing model and the competition.

Details are still pretty scarce 

 

 

 

Edited by FordCosworth

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3 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Three features the GM twins don't have

 

10 speed auto

3.5L Ecoboost V6

aluminum. 

 

Thats all I could find (although there may be more that I'm missing) making it's extra weight even more of a mystery. 

I reviewed the C&D Story and did not find anything else. I looked on the Ford corporate web site and did not find anything else either. Solid competitor and as stated already IRS versus Solid axle and the 3 you mention is the only differences I can find.

So not sure if the full 200+ lbs is in the IRS and Motor as I am not sure that the tranny would have changed in weight much just because the gears changed.

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2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I reviewed the C&D Story and did not find anything else. I looked on the Ford corporate web site and did not find anything else either. Solid competitor and as stated already IRS versus Solid axle and the 3 you mention is the only differences I can find.

So not sure if the full 200+ lbs is in the IRS and Motor as I am not sure that the tranny would have changed in weight much just because the gears changed.

It is dimensionally bigger than the outgoing model too so that could be a small factor there. 

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1 minute ago, surreal1272 said:

It is dimensionally bigger than the outgoing model too so that could be a small factor there. 

Yes, that could make a difference and their Vista Roof that Suburban does not have.

2018Expeditionsunroof.jpg

This is a big negative for me as the existing GM line has fold flat 3rd row into the floor and based on this picture the Ford does not.

2018Expedition.jpg

This will give interior room to the GM's for cargo plus if this picture off Fords web site about this auto is accurate, then you would have to remove the seats to get full cargo space.

Very Interesting, Love the Vista Sun Roof.

Interesting but the more and more I look at all the pictures on the web site:

http://www.ford.com/suvs/expedition/2018/

The more this reminds me of the 90's for the GM lineup of their full Size SUVs.

I like it in many ways, not in a few. But this is truly the best I have seen Ford do on the full size SUV.

My hat is off to them. :)

:thumbsup:

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I do not get this trend, Flat Stone looking seats, I see very little side to side support on any of the seats and the 3rd row looks like a slab of granite, hard uncomfortable and would not be a road trip auto for me.

2018Expedition3rdSeat.jpg

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20 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

Three features the GM twins don't have

 

10 speed auto

3.5L Ecoboost V6

aluminum. 

 

Thats all I could find (although there may be more that I'm missing) making it's extra weight even more of a mystery. 

I'd assume they will have the 10spd within a year.. I can't see that being something that take multiple years to implement unless it's a contract thing with Ford and vise versa for the 9spd.

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8 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Yes, that could make a difference and their Vista Roof that Suburban does not have.

2018Expeditionsunroof.jpg

This is a big negative for me as the existing GM line has fold flat 3rd row into the floor and based on this picture the Ford does not.

2018Expedition.jpg

This will give interior room to the GM's for cargo plus if this picture off Fords web site about this auto is accurate, then you would have to remove the seats to get full cargo space.

Very Interesting, Love the Vista Sun Roof.

Interesting but the more and more I look at all the pictures on the web site:

http://www.ford.com/suvs/expedition/2018/

The more this reminds me of the 90's for the GM lineup of their full Size SUVs.

I like it in many ways, not in a few. But this is truly the best I have seen Ford do on the full size SUV.

My hat is off to them. :)

:thumbsup:

True on the sunroof but we don't know that their weight claim includes that. 

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16 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I reviewed the C&D Story and did not find anything else. I looked on the Ford corporate web site and did not find anything else either. Solid competitor and as stated already IRS versus Solid axle and the 3 you mention is the only differences I can find.

So not sure if the full 200+ lbs is in the IRS and Motor as I am not sure that the tranny would have changed in weight much just because the gears changed.

It could be anything from sound deadening, weight of components throughout the vehicle, to the body panels. Isn't there already some aluminum implemented in the GMs? I know their trucks already use some.

Some of that weight could be beneficial, some of it could be lack of technological advances.. It's so tough to really compare and say one vehicle is heavier and one is lighter and better when there are millions of variables that factor into the overall weight. One might make a stronger, heavier differential and transfer case while the other added additional sound deadening.

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16 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Yes, that could make a difference and their Vista Roof that Suburban does not have.

2018Expeditionsunroof.jpg

This is a big negative for me as the existing GM line has fold flat 3rd row into the floor and based on this picture the Ford does not.

2018Expedition.jpg

This will give interior room to the GM's for cargo plus if this picture off Fords web site about this auto is accurate, then you would have to remove the seats to get full cargo space.

Very Interesting, Love the Vista Sun Roof.

Interesting but the more and more I look at all the pictures on the web site:

http://www.ford.com/suvs/expedition/2018/

The more this reminds me of the 90's for the GM lineup of their full Size SUVs.

I like it in many ways, not in a few. But this is truly the best I have seen Ford do on the full size SUV.

My hat is off to them. :)

:thumbsup:

Seats not folding flat is pretty ridiculous to me.. and I tried to look up pictures of the current or older gen and it looks like they used to have the 3rd row fold flat but not the captain chairs, which would be okay with me. Hopefully, the 3rd row will fold flat in this next gen as well because not folding flat seems like a decent negative, personally.

When looking up if the current Expy folded flat I figured I'd look up the Suburban as well. They appear about the same as the Expy with the 3rd row folding flat and it can be removed as well(suburban - not sure about the Expy).

Maybe I'm wrong.. but here's a quote from Edmunds,

  • "Another downside to the third-row seat is that it has to be removed entirely in order to make full use of the cavernous cargo hold. You don't have to worry about this herculean task in the Expedition EL or Toyota Sequoia, which feature fold-flat third rows. Yet when all the Suburban's seats are removed, however, the resulting 137 cubic feet of maximum cargo space is greater than both those rivals." -- Edmunds (2013)

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9 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

It could be anything from sound deadening, weight of components throughout the vehicle, to the body panels. Isn't there already some aluminum implemented in the GMs? I know their trucks already use some.

Some of that weight could be beneficial, some of it could be lack of technological advances.. It's so tough to really compare and say one vehicle is heavier and one is lighter and better when there are millions of variables that factor into the overall weight. One might make a stronger, heavier differential and transfer case while the other added additional sound deadening.

A voice of reason!

 

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18 minutes ago, FordCosworth said:

A voice of reason!

 

No one here has been unreasonable. We are all just speculating at this point. 

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This thing looks like a shameless ripoff of the Tahoe/Suburban's styling. 

I don't like this thing having a TT V6, but the GM full-sizers feel like they're held together with rubber bands and paper clips, so this HAS to be better. 

My ruling is Ford by default.

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17 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

This thing looks like a shameless ripoff of the Tahoe/Suburban's styling. 

The only thing that looks like the GMs is the flat, boring, and un-styled sides which neither put effort into. Everything up front screams "Explorer".

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3 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

The only thing that looks like the GMs is the flat, boring, and un-styled sides which neither put effort into. Everything up front screams "Explorer".

I disagree. Everything from the angle of the pillars, to the door handles, to the body lines looks like the Chevy. Put a Chevy grille on it (hell, just the bow tie), and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

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      The efficiency assist additionally promotes an economical driving style by prompting the driver when he should move his foot off of the accelerator pedal. It does this by using the navigation system’s route data, radar information and camera images, Depending on the traffic situation the predictive system makes the Audi e-tron slow down proactively and in turn, recuperate.
      Strong performance on a variety road surfaces: electric all-wheel drive and suspension
      In the Audi e-tron, the brand introduces a new generation of quattro drive as standard: electric all-wheel drive. This new system enables the electric SUV to achieve optimum traction in a variety of weather conditions and on challenging road surfaces. In a similar way to the mechanical quattro with ultra technology, the second axle – in this case, the one at the front – can be connected predictively. This happens if the driver requests more power than the rear electric motor can supply, or predictively even before grip noticeably declines in wintery conditions or in dynamic cornering. The electric motors are an ideal power source for the high-precision, ultrafast electric quattro. Torque can be controlled spontaneously – the output can be redistributed between the axles within a fraction of a second.
      Towards the limits of driving dynamics, torque vectoring enhances handling by means of brief wheel brake applications. The dynamic talents of the Audi e-tron are especially apparent on a low-friction surface, such as snow. For the first time in the e-tron, the quattro torque vectoring are integrated on the central suspension controller, distributing the torque with a slight rear bias.
      The innovative traction control regulates wheel slip by the millisecond directly via the electric motors’ power electronics. The powertrain control unit is integrated with the built-in brake control system and helps maintain an optimum power flow between tires and road surface. Together with the electric all-wheel drive, this produces the high traction and directional stability that are typical of an Audi. This is especially evident in the four-stage Electronic Stabilization Control, which offers the “sport” and “offroad” modes and can also be fully turned off when desired.
      The SUV’s driving character can be adjusted with the standard Audi drive select across seven profiles – from comfortable, through efficient, to distinctively sporty – according to the driving situation, road condition or personal requirements. Some of the modes also influence the standard air suspension with adaptive dampers.
      Depending on road speed and driving style the suspension adjusts the body’s ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in). Especially on long journeys, a lower ride height improves the air flow around the body, thus helping to increase range. In the “offroad” mode, the Audi e-tron is primed for driving away from paved roads: Its ground clearance is increased by 35 millimeters (1.4 in) compared with the standard level. If the driver activates the additional function “Raise” in Audi drive select, the body can adapt to another 15 millimeters (0.6 in) higher.
      The electric SUV is both uniquely dynamic and stable in changing driving conditions. The low position of the drive components helps in that regard: The battery system is optimally matched to the dimensions of the Audi e-tron body and is located between the axles in the form of a flat, broad block beneath the passenger compartment. That places the Audi e-tron’s center of gravity a few centimeters lower down than in a conventional SUV.
      The axle load distribution is balanced at approximately 50:50, and self-steering behavior is neutral. The front and rear suspensions take the form of five-link designs. The standard progressive steering adjusts its ratio according to steering angle and provides speed-dependent assistance. The further the steering is turned, the more direct it becomes – this helps make the vehicle agile and precise to move with little effort. This advantage comes into play in city driving and for tight maneuvering.
      The optionally available trailer tow hitch can increase the Audi e-tron’s versatility, for example as a sport and leisure vehicle. When equipped with the tow package, the Audi e-tron has a maximum tow rating of 4000 lbs. It can also be used for mounting a cycle carrier, for example.
      95 kWh of energy: the high-voltage battery system
      The battery system in the Audi e-tron is located beneath the cabin and is 2.28 meters (90 inches) long, 1.63 meters (63.6 inches) wide and 34 centimeters (13.4 in) high. It comprises a total of 36 cell modules in square aluminum housings, each of which is roughly the size of a shoe box. They are arranged on two levels, known as “floors” –a longer lower floor and a shorter upper one. At market launch, each module is equipped with twelve pouch cells having a flexible outer skin of aluminum-coated polymer. The battery operates with a nominal voltage of 396 volts and stores 95 kWh of energy.
      A cooling system of flat aluminum extruded sections divided uniformly into small chambers has the task of maintaining the battery’s high-performance operation over the long term. Heat is exchanged between the cells and the cooling system beneath them via a thermally conductive gel pressed beneath each cell module. In what is a particularly resourceful solution, the gel evenly transfers the waste heat to the coolant via the battery housing.
      A strong surround frame and lattice-type aluminum structure that holds the cell modules is designed to protect the battery block. A substantial aluminum plate provides protection against damage from flying stones or curbs, for instance. These measures demonstrate how the Audi engineers have developed the batter and cooling systems with safety in mind. The weight of the battery system including the housing pan with intricate crash structures is roughly 700 kilograms (1543.2 lb). It is bolted to the underbody of the Audi e-tron at 35 points. This increases the torsional rigidity of the body, which in turn integrates numerous aluminum parts such as the floor plate in the rear structure, the doors, as well as the hood and tailgate. The cabin features components made from heat-formed ultra-high-strength steel.
      At up to 150 kW: charging on the move and at home
      Designed for efficiency and integration, the e-tron is engineered for both AC and DC charging via the widespread SAE J1772 and Combined Charging System (CCS) standards. In an industry first to-date, the e-tron debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, this capability can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes.  For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a fresh charge overnight. This charger will include plugs that can utilize both a standard 120-volt household outlet (1.2 kW) as well as a fast-speed 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet (9.6 kW).
      Audi e-tron buyers will have the opportunity to ready their homes for their all-electric SUV with available Amazon Home Services in the first-ever home charging collaboration between Amazon and an automaker. “Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home Services” offers e-tron buyers a fully-digital experience for in-home electric vehicle charging installations, designed to make the process of home charging set up as easy as ordering the millions of others items and services U.S. customers depend on from Amazon.
      Furthermore, customers can define their own personal priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive where available. With the myAudi app, it can be accessed from the convenience of the home. It can be used to plan, control, and monitor the charging and pre-heating/-cooling of the electric SUV. The customer can set a departure time, for example, so that the Audi e-tron is charged and/or heated/cooled at the desired time. Customers can even choose to heat or cool certain zones in the car. On cold winter days, for example, customers can turn on the optional seat heating. The app also displays charging and driving data.
      For charging on the go, the e-tron will be supported by a nationwide charging network, “Powered by Electrify America.” By July 2019, this network will include nearly 500 fast-charging sites complete or under development throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. Offering advanced charging, Electrify America’s chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW. With the purchase of the Audi   e-tron customers will receive 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.
      Place of relaxation: the interior
      The interior of the Audi e-tron represents performance, intelligence and lightness – attributes that are manifested in an array of details. A generous arc, the wraparound dash, envelops the stepped dashboard as far around as the sculptural door trims. The entire cabin has a strong driver orientation and in addition to the central Audi virtual cockpit featuring a slim, visually free-standing display, the two MMI touch response displays are angled towards the pilot. When off, the upper screen blends almost invisibly into the large black-panel surface. In clear contrast, the lower display sits on the broad center console. The central tunnel rests on open side panels and incorporates a storage compartment, cup holders as well as the standard Audi phone box for inductive smartphone charging. This solution combines lightness with functionality. The hand rest that incorporates the gear selector appears to float above the console. The driver selects the drive position in a one-touch action with a movement of the thumb and index finger.
      In every equipment line, the interior of the Audi e-tron presents exceptional upholstery materials, colors, and inlays. The Audi e-tron meets our highest quality standards in terms of interior build quality and choice of materials such as the available Valcona leather seats or the natural wood inlays. The stitching on the seats creates a motif that evokes the precision of electric circuit boards.
      Typically full-size: spacious and comfortable
      Not only does the interior have an airy design, it genuinely offers ample space. The Audi e-tron offers excellent interior packaging –interior length, second-row leg room, and headroom front and rear provide comfortable seating for five adults. In the rear, there is a flat plateau instead of the center tunnel usually found in conventional models –resulting in additional space.
      The luggage capacity totals 28.5 cu ft, including an additional handy storage compartment beneath the front lid. This storage space is designed to accommodate the vehicle tool kit and mobile charging cable. With the rear seat backs folded down, the Audi e-tron has up to 57.0 cu ft of luggage space. The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically as standard for ease of loading, and can be operated by a foot gesture when the key is in your pocket or purse.
      As well as the car’s spaciousness, its standard of comfort and convenience is what you would expect from a typical Audi. The standard panoramic glass sunroof helps keep the interior bright and intensifies the impression of airiness and space. In addition, four-zone automatic air conditioning is standard with the option for available air quality package. The latter helps to maintain premium air quality by means of an ionizer and aromatization, the intensity of which can be adjusted over several levels. Multi-adjustable customized contour front seats with massage function are available as well. The available contour/ambient lighting package creates highlights after dark: It illuminates surfaces softly, edges sharply, and also back-lights the e-tron badge on the dashboard.
      A new level: acoustics and sound
      With its combination of electric drive and a comfortable, sophisticated interior, the Audi e-tron creates a new feeling for mobility. Especially when driving in the city, it radiates an almost perfect sense of calm. The only sounds are from its tires and the gentle hum of the electric motors.
      The body has special soundproofing in all zones that could transmit noise interference and help reduce wind vibrations. This makes the Audi e-tron the perfect platform for the standard Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D sound in the front. It allows the music to be enjoyed precisely how it was recorded.
      Digital world: operation and displays
      In keeping with the all-new Audi C and D segment portfolio, the Audi e-tron features the MMI touch response operating system. Its two large, high-resolution displays – the upper one with a diagonal of 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches – take the place of almost all conventional switches and controls. Operation is swift and simple: When the finger activates a function, it triggers a tactile and acoustic click by way of confirmation. The few remaining buttons, for example for the lights, are also available with touch response technology if desired.
      In the upper display, the driver controls the infotainment, telephone, navigation, and special e-tron settings – this allows the activation of a charging timer or specifying the type of desired recuperation, for example. In the lower screen text input, comfort function selections and the HVAC are all managed with the wrist resting comfortably on the gear selector lever with integrated support. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat like on a smartphone, including freely configurable favorites and start screens.
      In addition, the driver can activate a wide range of functions using natural language recognition. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or can be delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The system understands spoken commands; the dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted.
      Alexa has been fully integrated into the MMI system and is on board for customers to access the many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron as they can in their home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries and add things to your to-do list, stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. And you access the wide variety of Alexa skills. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you have to do is ask.
      The digital display and operating concept in the Audi e-tron is rounded off by the standard feature of the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be operated from the multifunction steering wheel. Its display benefits from the very high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and new e-tron-specific graphics. The driver can choose between three views: In the classic view, the power meter and speedometer are presented as large dials; in the infotainment view, they appear smaller and the focus is on the navigation map. Additionally, with the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus an additional view is shown that puts the power meter center stage. The head-up display complements the displays as an option. It projects important information straight onto the windscreen.
      Top-caliber connectivity: navigation, Audi connect
      The Audi e-tron is equipped with MMI Navigation plus as standard. The top-end media center supports the high-speed data transmission through LTE Advanced with integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices through a 6-month unlimited Audi connect PLUS trial subscription. The navigation system can make predictive destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on-board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic conditions.
      The online services of Audi connect PRIME ideally complement the navigation system, especially the e-tron route planner. The customer can use it either in the in-car MMI touch system or in the myAudi app. In both cases they are shown the suggested route with the available charging points. The navigation system considers not only the battery’s charge but also the traffic conditions and includes the required charging time in its arrival time calculation. The e-tron route planner provides charge locations as part of the route planning.
      Arrive more relaxed with comprehensive driver assistance systems
      Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys, the Audi e-tron can make life easier for its driver in life’s many situations. The system at the heart of the optional Driver Assistance Package is adaptive cruise assist, which comfortably provides longitudinal and lateral control in traffic jams or at highway speeds. It supports the driver with accelerating, braking, maintaining speed, keeping distance. The system can detect lane markings, roadside structures, vehicles in adjacent lanes and vehicles driving ahead. In construction zones, the Audi e-tron automatically adapts its speed to the traffic situation, taking into account the speed limit. If the lane is too narrow to allow side-by-side driving, adaptive cruise assist enables offset driving through narrow stretches. In conjunction with efficiency assist it predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi e-tron based on its evaluation of sensor and navigation data as well as road signs. It automatically adjusts to the current speed limit, reduces the speed before corners, during turning and on roundabouts. The system can maintain a driving style that reflects the driving program selected – from every day to sporty.
      Driver assistance features for urban areas include intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist as well as lane change and vehicle exit warning. The 360 degree cameras provide multiple views to facilitate centimeter-precision maneuvering, while showing crossing traffic. The 3D view with freely selectable perspective is the highlight. Park steering assist eases the parking process. It steers the Audi e-tron independently into parallel parking and perpendicular parking spaces – forward or backward. The driver only has to accelerate, select the gear and brake.
      Operating as standard behind the driver assistance systems in the Audi e-tron is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated picture of the surroundings. The required data is obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner.
      e-tron Reservation System
      Accompanying the debut of the e-tron, customers are now able to configure their e-tron and reserve their vehicle with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
      This new Audi reservation system is part of how Audi of America will create a digital ecosystem for Audi owners to confidently go electric. After customers place a reservation, they will be able to track it online and with their local dealer.
      As an electric SUV that includes integrated digital tools, in-home charging solutions, and the support of Audi of America’s 303 dealer partners —e-tron owners can confidently choose electric performance knowing they have the support of a full Audi ecosystem.
      Pricing & Equipment:
      The Audi e-tron is being will arrive in the US during the 2nd quarter of 2019. The entry Premium Plus trim is very well equipped to appeal to premium buyers and make going electric easier than ever. Available premium equipment such as available massage and cooled seats no longer need to be left out when going electric.  
      To celebrate our first electric vehicle, we are introducing a limited build First Edition model in the US, with only 999 units making their way to the US market. The special equipment combination includes Daytona Gray exterior, 21-inch bi-color Black wheels, Alu-Optic exterior trim complemented by Dynamic orange brake calipers matching the Dynamic orange highlights surrounding the e-tron nameplate lettering located near the charge port. The interior is further elevated from the standard e-tron offering through Black Valcona leather with gray contrast stitch and Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays.
      Model year 2019 e-tron manufacturer suggested retail prices are listed below:
      PREMIUM PLUS
      PRESTIGE
      FIRST EDITION
      $74,800
      $81,800
      $86,700
      20-inch wheels w/ all-season tires Top view camera system Comfort pre-conditioning Audi side assist w/ cross-traffic alert Full LED exterior + interior lighting Matrix design headlamps MMI Navigation plus w/ virtual cockpit 3D 705W B&O Sound w/16 speakers Audi phonebox + smartphone interface 12-way power front seats, heated + cooled 4-spoke power adj. steering wheel Leather seating surfaces Illuminated aluminum door sills Panoramic sunroof Premium Plus equipment and the following:
      Head-up display Driver Assistance package Individual Contour seats w/ massage Power-door closers Rear window sunshades Dual-pane acoustic front side windows Valcona Leather + extended leather Memory for front passenger seat Air quality package + ionizer  
      Prestige equipment and the following:
      21-inch bi-color Black wheels, A/S tires Daytona Gray pearl effect paint Alu-Optic exterior trim (sills, air inlet, diffuser) Dynamic orange painted brake calipers Black Valcona leather interior w/gray contrast stitching Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays LED puddle lamp “edition one” projection Night Vision Assistant  
      Prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination and delivery ($995), taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.
      Production and U.S. Market launch
      The Audi e-tron will be manufactured in the brand new Audi Brussels facility, which was certified as CO2 neutral by the Belgian testing company Vincotte and will begin deliveries in the U.S. market in the 2nd quarter of 2019.

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    • By William Maley
      September has become electric-vehiclepalooza as various automakers have revealed either production or concept electric vehicles. Audi is the latest automaker to join this as last night, they unveiled the 2019 e-tron crossover.
      Unlike the Jaguar I-Pace or Mercedes-Benz EQ C, the e-tron looks very conventional. The basic shape, grille, and lighting fits in line with Audi's other crossovers. There are some little touches that reveal this isn't your normal crossover such as the closed-off grille and aerodynamically optimized 20-inch alloy wheels. One item that the U.S. version will miss out on are the cameras that take the place of the side-view mirrors. Audi is working with regulators to get approval for them.
      The interior is instantly recognizable as an Audi with a modern design for the dash and dual-screen layout for the infotainment. One interesting touch is the uniquely styled wrist-rest on the center console that has a toggle on the edge for switching gears.
      The e-tron's drive system is comprised of two electric motors, one powering each axle. Audi hasn't published official power figures for the e-tron, but said it will hit 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and onto a top speed of 124 mph. Audi will also be offering a towing package for the e-tron that will allow it to tow a max amount of 4,000 pounds. Depending on the load, the e-tron can be driven on just the rear motor. The front motor will kick on when more power is needed or the quattro system detects a loss of traction.
      A 95-kWh battery pack sits between the two electric motors. Audi hasn't revealed range for the U.S. e-tron, but did say the European-market version will travel up to 248 miles based on WTLP testing. All e-trons will come with a home charger that can support charging via 120-volt or 240-volt outlets. The model also supports DC fast charging via the SAE Combo plug and will be the first vehicle that can take advantage of 150 kW charging - currently the max amount is 90 kW on the SAE Combo plug. Audi is partnering with Electrify America (the company set up by Volkswagen as part of the diesel emission settlement) to provide 1,000 kWh of no-cost charging to e-tron buyers. Electrify America is planning to build out 500 charging stations throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. 
      Pricing for the e-tron is as followed,
      Prestige: $75,795 Prestige Plus: $82,795 Edition One: $87,695 All prices include a $995 destination charge. Audi says the e-tron will be eligible for $7,500 Federal tax credit.
      Those interested in picking up an e-tron can head down to their Audi dealer to pre-order one a place $1,000 deposit. Deliveries are expected to begin next spring.
      Source: Audi


      Electric goes Audi: all-electric Audi e-tron SUV unveiled and available for US customers to place reservations
      First all-electric, fastest charging Audi e-tron SUV makes global debut and is available for customers to place reservations Audi e-tron is a spacious five-seater, electric mid-sized premium SUV that is very well equipped to meet premium buyer expectations Innovative battery design engineered for repeatable performance, longevity, and safety as well as highest levels of Audi infotainment and driver assistance systems Customers can enjoy the convenience of exclusive home charging installation through Amazon Home Services and complimentary 1000 kWh of charge powered by Electrify America. HERNDON, Va., September 17, 2018 – With the introduction of the Audi e-tron, the Audi brand presents its first fully electric production model. The mid-size SUV is electrified, performance oriented and fit for every aspect of daily life. In combination with a comprehensive range of available charging solutions for home and on the move, customers can enjoy fully electric driving without compromise.
      The Audi e-tron is an electric SUV for sport, family and leisure. It is 193 inches long, 76.3 inches wide and 65.5 inches high. It offers the spaciousness and comfort commensurate with an Audi. With a wheelbase of 115.1 inches, the Audi e-tron has ample space for five occupants and cargo. The total luggage capacity is 28.5 cu ft. (57.0 cu ft. seats down), equipping the electric SUV for short jaunts and long road trips.
      Electrification visualized: the exterior design
      The Audi e-tron reflects the fundamental idiom of Audi design – translated into the electric age by new, stylistically refined aerodynamically focused details. Consistent with one of the brand’s SUV models, the Audi e-tron bears the octagonal-design Singleframe grille with vertical struts. Its uniquely enclosed grille is presented in platinum gray – identifying it as a fully electric model. At the lower edge of the standard LED headlights, four horizontal struts, reminiscent of a charging status indicators, create the e-tron-specific signature in the daytime running lights. For the first time this is integrated directly into the headlights. Light is used as a signature design feature.
      Another important design element is the continuous shoulder line. It extends from the headlights, along the flanks, to the rear lights, giving the Audi e-tron a sense of stature and presence. The expressive design approach of the sill area with the black inserts on the door trim visualizes the location of the battery and thus the energy center of the Audi e-tron. Meanwhile, the roof stretches across the muscular body, which displays clear SUV attributes with its quattro blisters over the wheels and prominent D-pillars.
      At the sculptural rear, the long roof spoiler and wide diffuser accentuate the sporty look. One distinct element on the e-tron is the light strip connecting the LED rear taillights, consistent with the brand’s D segment offerings including the Audi A7, A8 and Q8. With their horizontal emphasis, the tail lights echo the graphics of the daytime running lights that are graphical representation of full battery charge. Meanwhile the four cross-slats in the diffuser draw attention to the absence of tailpipes, another reference to the fully electric drive.
      Every detail matters: aerodynamics and efficiency
      When developing the Audi e-tron, the exterior designers worked in close collaboration with the aerodynamics experts. The result of this attention to aero is an array of high-tech efficiency solutions, such as the regulated cooling air inlet with ducts for cooling the front brakes and the adaptive, speed-dependent air suspension that is standard on the Audi e-tron. The standard-fit 20-inch wheels are aerodynamically optimized and fitted with 255/50 tires. These are especially engineered for their ultralow rolling resistance. The fully clad underbody including aluminum plate to help protect the high-voltage battery likewise plays a vital role in lowering drag. The screw connection points are recessed to deliberately create minor vortices so that the air flows even better.
      In addition to aerodynamics, thermal management has an important role to play. The standard equipped heat pump uses the waste heat from the electrical components – up to 3 kW of the actual power loss are used for cabin heating and air conditioning as well as cooling the electric motor. Depending on ambient temperature, the heat pump’s design at can help contribute to the Audi e-tron range by up to ten percent. Highly flexible thermal management also allows fast direct-current charging to help maintain a long battery operating life and repeatable road performance.
      Sporty efficiency: drive and recuperation
      From high-efficiency to high-performance – the particularly appealing component of the Audi e-tron’s drive is its breadth. The two electric motors accelerate the e-tron from 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 124 mph.  The advantage of the electric motor is felt especially in its impressive off-the-line starting performance from a standstill. The maximum drive torque is reached in 250 milliseconds – a performance worthy of a sports car. US horsepower and torque figures will be available closer to launch.
      The two asynchronous motors (ASM) of the Audi e-tron are especially robust. Their sophisticated cooling concept is designed to keep the temperature level low. Single-stage transmissions transfer the torque to the axles via the differentials. Each motor is supplied by power electronics that act in close consort with the powertrain control unit. When the Audi e-tron is traveling at moderate speeds, in the interest of efficiency it is powered mainly by the rear motor. When coasting, the motors operate free from magnetic drag torque – another strength of ASM technology.
      The Audi e-tron uses an innovative recuperation system encompassing both electric motors, to boost efficiency. On average, our engineers estimate that this system is responsible for as much as 30 percent of the e-tron’s range depending on the conditions, terrain and driving style. The electric SUV can recover energy in two ways: by means of coasting recuperation when the driver releases the accelerator, or by means of braking recuperation by depressing the brake pedal. When pressing the brake pedal, the electronic control unit computes within milliseconds how much pressure the system needs to build up for the specific braking process required. A high-performance electric motor supplies the necessary energy. The integrated brake control system is approximately 30 percent lighter than a conventional system thanks to its more compact design. The conventional vacuum pump is no longer needed in this configuration.
      According to the driving situation, the brake control system decides whether to use the electric motors as alternators or to use the friction brakes – all without the driver noticing. Up to 0.3 g, the Audi e-tron is decelerated solely by the electric motors – that covers over 90 percent of braking scenarios. So energy is returned to the battery in practically all normal braking instances. Above this deceleration value, for example in a full brake application, the friction brakes come into play. Thanks to a newly designed electro-hydraulic activation principle, they are particularly quick to respond. The driver can select the degree of energy recovery in three stages by means of paddles on the steering wheel. In the lowest setting, the Audi e-tron glides with no additional braking torque. At the highest stage the electric SUV is slowed more noticeably – the driver can slow down and accelerate solely via the acceleration pedal, if desired. This creates what is referred to as a one-pedal feeling.
      The efficiency assist additionally promotes an economical driving style by prompting the driver when he should move his foot off of the accelerator pedal. It does this by using the navigation system’s route data, radar information and camera images, Depending on the traffic situation the predictive system makes the Audi e-tron slow down proactively and in turn, recuperate.
      Strong performance on a variety road surfaces: electric all-wheel drive and suspension
      In the Audi e-tron, the brand introduces a new generation of quattro drive as standard: electric all-wheel drive. This new system enables the electric SUV to achieve optimum traction in a variety of weather conditions and on challenging road surfaces. In a similar way to the mechanical quattro with ultra technology, the second axle – in this case, the one at the front – can be connected predictively. This happens if the driver requests more power than the rear electric motor can supply, or predictively even before grip noticeably declines in wintery conditions or in dynamic cornering. The electric motors are an ideal power source for the high-precision, ultrafast electric quattro. Torque can be controlled spontaneously – the output can be redistributed between the axles within a fraction of a second.
      Towards the limits of driving dynamics, torque vectoring enhances handling by means of brief wheel brake applications. The dynamic talents of the Audi e-tron are especially apparent on a low-friction surface, such as snow. For the first time in the e-tron, the quattro torque vectoring are integrated on the central suspension controller, distributing the torque with a slight rear bias.
      The innovative traction control regulates wheel slip by the millisecond directly via the electric motors’ power electronics. The powertrain control unit is integrated with the built-in brake control system and helps maintain an optimum power flow between tires and road surface. Together with the electric all-wheel drive, this produces the high traction and directional stability that are typical of an Audi. This is especially evident in the four-stage Electronic Stabilization Control, which offers the “sport” and “offroad” modes and can also be fully turned off when desired.
      The SUV’s driving character can be adjusted with the standard Audi drive select across seven profiles – from comfortable, through efficient, to distinctively sporty – according to the driving situation, road condition or personal requirements. Some of the modes also influence the standard air suspension with adaptive dampers.
      Depending on road speed and driving style the suspension adjusts the body’s ride height by up to 76 millimeters (3.0 in). Especially on long journeys, a lower ride height improves the air flow around the body, thus helping to increase range. In the “offroad” mode, the Audi e-tron is primed for driving away from paved roads: Its ground clearance is increased by 35 millimeters (1.4 in) compared with the standard level. If the driver activates the additional function “Raise” in Audi drive select, the body can adapt to another 15 millimeters (0.6 in) higher.
      The electric SUV is both uniquely dynamic and stable in changing driving conditions. The low position of the drive components helps in that regard: The battery system is optimally matched to the dimensions of the Audi e-tron body and is located between the axles in the form of a flat, broad block beneath the passenger compartment. That places the Audi e-tron’s center of gravity a few centimeters lower down than in a conventional SUV.
      The axle load distribution is balanced at approximately 50:50, and self-steering behavior is neutral. The front and rear suspensions take the form of five-link designs. The standard progressive steering adjusts its ratio according to steering angle and provides speed-dependent assistance. The further the steering is turned, the more direct it becomes – this helps make the vehicle agile and precise to move with little effort. This advantage comes into play in city driving and for tight maneuvering.
      The optionally available trailer tow hitch can increase the Audi e-tron’s versatility, for example as a sport and leisure vehicle. When equipped with the tow package, the Audi e-tron has a maximum tow rating of 4000 lbs. It can also be used for mounting a cycle carrier, for example.
      95 kWh of energy: the high-voltage battery system
      The battery system in the Audi e-tron is located beneath the cabin and is 2.28 meters (90 inches) long, 1.63 meters (63.6 inches) wide and 34 centimeters (13.4 in) high. It comprises a total of 36 cell modules in square aluminum housings, each of which is roughly the size of a shoe box. They are arranged on two levels, known as “floors” –a longer lower floor and a shorter upper one. At market launch, each module is equipped with twelve pouch cells having a flexible outer skin of aluminum-coated polymer. The battery operates with a nominal voltage of 396 volts and stores 95 kWh of energy.
      A cooling system of flat aluminum extruded sections divided uniformly into small chambers has the task of maintaining the battery’s high-performance operation over the long term. Heat is exchanged between the cells and the cooling system beneath them via a thermally conductive gel pressed beneath each cell module. In what is a particularly resourceful solution, the gel evenly transfers the waste heat to the coolant via the battery housing.
      A strong surround frame and lattice-type aluminum structure that holds the cell modules is designed to protect the battery block. A substantial aluminum plate provides protection against damage from flying stones or curbs, for instance. These measures demonstrate how the Audi engineers have developed the batter and cooling systems with safety in mind. The weight of the battery system including the housing pan with intricate crash structures is roughly 700 kilograms (1543.2 lb). It is bolted to the underbody of the Audi e-tron at 35 points. This increases the torsional rigidity of the body, which in turn integrates numerous aluminum parts such as the floor plate in the rear structure, the doors, as well as the hood and tailgate. The cabin features components made from heat-formed ultra-high-strength steel.
      At up to 150 kW: charging on the move and at home
      Designed for efficiency and integration, the e-tron is engineered for both AC and DC charging via the widespread SAE J1772 and Combined Charging System (CCS) standards. In an industry first to-date, the e-tron debuts a DC fast charging capability of up to 150 kW available at select high-speed public charging stations, this capability can deliver up-to an 80 percent charge in only approximately 30 minutes.  For customers’ residential charging needs, a standard 9.6 kW AC capsule charger (Level 2, 240-volt/40 amps) is provided and designed to deliver a fresh charge overnight. This charger will include plugs that can utilize both a standard 120-volt household outlet (1.2 kW) as well as a fast-speed 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet (9.6 kW).
      Audi e-tron buyers will have the opportunity to ready their homes for their all-electric SUV with available Amazon Home Services in the first-ever home charging collaboration between Amazon and an automaker. “Audi Home Charging powered by Amazon Home Services” offers e-tron buyers a fully-digital experience for in-home electric vehicle charging installations, designed to make the process of home charging set up as easy as ordering the millions of others items and services U.S. customers depend on from Amazon.
      Furthermore, customers can define their own personal priorities, such as charging when electricity is less expensive where available. With the myAudi app, it can be accessed from the convenience of the home. It can be used to plan, control, and monitor the charging and pre-heating/-cooling of the electric SUV. The customer can set a departure time, for example, so that the Audi e-tron is charged and/or heated/cooled at the desired time. Customers can even choose to heat or cool certain zones in the car. On cold winter days, for example, customers can turn on the optional seat heating. The app also displays charging and driving data.
      For charging on the go, the e-tron will be supported by a nationwide charging network, “Powered by Electrify America.” By July 2019, this network will include nearly 500 fast-charging sites complete or under development throughout 40 states and 17 metro areas. Offering advanced charging, Electrify America’s chargers are capable of delivering up to 350kW. With the purchase of the Audi   e-tron customers will receive 1,000 kWh of charging at Electrify America sites over four years of ownership.
      Place of relaxation: the interior
      The interior of the Audi e-tron represents performance, intelligence and lightness – attributes that are manifested in an array of details. A generous arc, the wraparound dash, envelops the stepped dashboard as far around as the sculptural door trims. The entire cabin has a strong driver orientation and in addition to the central Audi virtual cockpit featuring a slim, visually free-standing display, the two MMI touch response displays are angled towards the pilot. When off, the upper screen blends almost invisibly into the large black-panel surface. In clear contrast, the lower display sits on the broad center console. The central tunnel rests on open side panels and incorporates a storage compartment, cup holders as well as the standard Audi phone box for inductive smartphone charging. This solution combines lightness with functionality. The hand rest that incorporates the gear selector appears to float above the console. The driver selects the drive position in a one-touch action with a movement of the thumb and index finger.
      In every equipment line, the interior of the Audi e-tron presents exceptional upholstery materials, colors, and inlays. The Audi e-tron meets our highest quality standards in terms of interior build quality and choice of materials such as the available Valcona leather seats or the natural wood inlays. The stitching on the seats creates a motif that evokes the precision of electric circuit boards.
      Typically full-size: spacious and comfortable
      Not only does the interior have an airy design, it genuinely offers ample space. The Audi e-tron offers excellent interior packaging –interior length, second-row leg room, and headroom front and rear provide comfortable seating for five adults. In the rear, there is a flat plateau instead of the center tunnel usually found in conventional models –resulting in additional space.
      The luggage capacity totals 28.5 cu ft, including an additional handy storage compartment beneath the front lid. This storage space is designed to accommodate the vehicle tool kit and mobile charging cable. With the rear seat backs folded down, the Audi e-tron has up to 57.0 cu ft of luggage space. The tailgate can be opened and closed electrically as standard for ease of loading, and can be operated by a foot gesture when the key is in your pocket or purse.
      As well as the car’s spaciousness, its standard of comfort and convenience is what you would expect from a typical Audi. The standard panoramic glass sunroof helps keep the interior bright and intensifies the impression of airiness and space. In addition, four-zone automatic air conditioning is standard with the option for available air quality package. The latter helps to maintain premium air quality by means of an ionizer and aromatization, the intensity of which can be adjusted over several levels. Multi-adjustable customized contour front seats with massage function are available as well. The available contour/ambient lighting package creates highlights after dark: It illuminates surfaces softly, edges sharply, and also back-lights the e-tron badge on the dashboard.
      A new level: acoustics and sound
      With its combination of electric drive and a comfortable, sophisticated interior, the Audi e-tron creates a new feeling for mobility. Especially when driving in the city, it radiates an almost perfect sense of calm. The only sounds are from its tires and the gentle hum of the electric motors.
      The body has special soundproofing in all zones that could transmit noise interference and help reduce wind vibrations. This makes the Audi e-tron the perfect platform for the standard Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with 3D sound in the front. It allows the music to be enjoyed precisely how it was recorded.
      Digital world: operation and displays
      In keeping with the all-new Audi C and D segment portfolio, the Audi e-tron features the MMI touch response operating system. Its two large, high-resolution displays – the upper one with a diagonal of 10.1 inches and the lower one 8.6 inches – take the place of almost all conventional switches and controls. Operation is swift and simple: When the finger activates a function, it triggers a tactile and acoustic click by way of confirmation. The few remaining buttons, for example for the lights, are also available with touch response technology if desired.
      In the upper display, the driver controls the infotainment, telephone, navigation, and special e-tron settings – this allows the activation of a charging timer or specifying the type of desired recuperation, for example. In the lower screen text input, comfort function selections and the HVAC are all managed with the wrist resting comfortably on the gear selector lever with integrated support. The menu structure is intuitively logical and flat like on a smartphone, including freely configurable favorites and start screens.
      In addition, the driver can activate a wide range of functions using natural language recognition. Information on destinations and media is either available on board or can be delivered from the cloud at LTE speed. The system understands spoken commands; the dialog manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices, and also defers to the speaker when interrupted.
      Alexa has been fully integrated into the MMI system and is on board for customers to access the many of the same features and services in the Audi e-tron as they can in their home or through other Alexa-enabled devices. You can check news, weather and sports scores, order groceries and add things to your to-do list, stream music and audiobooks via Audible, Amazon Music and TuneIn. And you access the wide variety of Alexa skills. And with smart home controls, you can lock the doors, turn off the lights, and close the garage door directly from the vehicle – all you have to do is ask.
      The digital display and operating concept in the Audi e-tron is rounded off by the standard feature of the Audi virtual cockpit, which can be operated from the multifunction steering wheel. Its display benefits from the very high resolution of 1,920 x 720 pixels and new e-tron-specific graphics. The driver can choose between three views: In the classic view, the power meter and speedometer are presented as large dials; in the infotainment view, they appear smaller and the focus is on the navigation map. Additionally, with the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus an additional view is shown that puts the power meter center stage. The head-up display complements the displays as an option. It projects important information straight onto the windscreen.
      Top-caliber connectivity: navigation, Audi connect
      The Audi e-tron is equipped with MMI Navigation plus as standard. The top-end media center supports the high-speed data transmission through LTE Advanced with integrated Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices through a 6-month unlimited Audi connect PLUS trial subscription. The navigation system can make predictive destination suggestions based on previous journeys. The route is calculated both on-board in the car and online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the overall traffic conditions.
      The online services of Audi connect PRIME ideally complement the navigation system, especially the e-tron route planner. The customer can use it either in the in-car MMI touch system or in the myAudi app. In both cases they are shown the suggested route with the available charging points. The navigation system considers not only the battery’s charge but also the traffic conditions and includes the required charging time in its arrival time calculation. The e-tron route planner provides charge locations as part of the route planning.
      Arrive more relaxed with comprehensive driver assistance systems
      Whether parking, in the city or on long journeys, the Audi e-tron can make life easier for its driver in life’s many situations. The system at the heart of the optional Driver Assistance Package is adaptive cruise assist, which comfortably provides longitudinal and lateral control in traffic jams or at highway speeds. It supports the driver with accelerating, braking, maintaining speed, keeping distance. The system can detect lane markings, roadside structures, vehicles in adjacent lanes and vehicles driving ahead. In construction zones, the Audi e-tron automatically adapts its speed to the traffic situation, taking into account the speed limit. If the lane is too narrow to allow side-by-side driving, adaptive cruise assist enables offset driving through narrow stretches. In conjunction with efficiency assist it predictively slows down and accelerates the Audi e-tron based on its evaluation of sensor and navigation data as well as road signs. It automatically adjusts to the current speed limit, reduces the speed before corners, during turning and on roundabouts. The system can maintain a driving style that reflects the driving program selected – from every day to sporty.
      Driver assistance features for urban areas include intersection assist, rear cross traffic assist as well as lane change and vehicle exit warning. The 360 degree cameras provide multiple views to facilitate centimeter-precision maneuvering, while showing crossing traffic. The 3D view with freely selectable perspective is the highlight. Park steering assist eases the parking process. It steers the Audi e-tron independently into parallel parking and perpendicular parking spaces – forward or backward. The driver only has to accelerate, select the gear and brake.
      Operating as standard behind the driver assistance systems in the Audi e-tron is the central driver assistance controller. It continuously computes a differentiated picture of the surroundings. The required data is obtained – depending on the selected options – from up to five radar sensors, six cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and the laser scanner.
      e-tron Reservation System
      Accompanying the debut of the e-tron, customers are now able to configure their e-tron and reserve their vehicle with a fully refundable $1,000 reservation fee ahead of delivery in mid-2019.
      This new Audi reservation system is part of how Audi of America will create a digital ecosystem for Audi owners to confidently go electric. After customers place a reservation, they will be able to track it online and with their local dealer.
      As an electric SUV that includes integrated digital tools, in-home charging solutions, and the support of Audi of America’s 303 dealer partners —e-tron owners can confidently choose electric performance knowing they have the support of a full Audi ecosystem.
      Pricing & Equipment:
      The Audi e-tron is being will arrive in the US during the 2nd quarter of 2019. The entry Premium Plus trim is very well equipped to appeal to premium buyers and make going electric easier than ever. Available premium equipment such as available massage and cooled seats no longer need to be left out when going electric.  
      To celebrate our first electric vehicle, we are introducing a limited build First Edition model in the US, with only 999 units making their way to the US market. The special equipment combination includes Daytona Gray exterior, 21-inch bi-color Black wheels, Alu-Optic exterior trim complemented by Dynamic orange brake calipers matching the Dynamic orange highlights surrounding the e-tron nameplate lettering located near the charge port. The interior is further elevated from the standard e-tron offering through Black Valcona leather with gray contrast stitch and Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays.
      Model year 2019 e-tron manufacturer suggested retail prices are listed below:
      PREMIUM PLUS
      PRESTIGE
      FIRST EDITION
      $74,800
      $81,800
      $86,700
      20-inch wheels w/ all-season tires Top view camera system Comfort pre-conditioning Audi side assist w/ cross-traffic alert Full LED exterior + interior lighting Matrix design headlamps MMI Navigation plus w/ virtual cockpit 3D 705W B&O Sound w/16 speakers Audi phonebox + smartphone interface 12-way power front seats, heated + cooled 4-spoke power adj. steering wheel Leather seating surfaces Illuminated aluminum door sills Panoramic sunroof Premium Plus equipment and the following:
      Head-up display Driver Assistance package Individual Contour seats w/ massage Power-door closers Rear window sunshades Dual-pane acoustic front side windows Valcona Leather + extended leather Memory for front passenger seat Air quality package + ionizer  
      Prestige equipment and the following:
      21-inch bi-color Black wheels, A/S tires Daytona Gray pearl effect paint Alu-Optic exterior trim (sills, air inlet, diffuser) Dynamic orange painted brake calipers Black Valcona leather interior w/gray contrast stitching Volcano Gray Ash Natural Wood inlays LED puddle lamp “edition one” projection Night Vision Assistant  
      Prices listed are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices and do not include destination and delivery ($995), taxes, title, options, and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.
      Production and U.S. Market launch
      The Audi e-tron will be manufactured in the brand new Audi Brussels facility, which was certified as CO2 neutral by the Belgian testing company Vincotte and will begin deliveries in the U.S. market in the 2nd quarter of 2019.
    • By William Maley
      A few weeks ago, I wrote a comparison test between the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. It was a close fight, but the Atlas ended up being the victor as it proved to be the better all-around three-row crossover. I find myself comparing these two brands once again, this time with their compact crossovers. Like their larger brethren, the two models take different approaches. The Mazda CX-5 goes for something that provides a premium feel and exciting drive, while the Volkswagen Tiguan uses space and comfort as its guide. Which one of these crossovers  Which one of these crossovers is right for you?
      Exterior
      Mazda’s design team believed evolution would be the right approach for the second-generation CX-5’s design and we have to agree. Taking the first-generation model, designers added more curves to the body, widened the front grille, and angled the front LED headlights. In what is becoming a very crowded class, the CX-5 stands tall, especially when wearing the optional Soul Red paint.
      Like the Atlas, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s shape can be explained as  “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” Little details such as the three-bar grille, LED daytime-running lights, and slightly bulging fenders help give the Tiguan a touch of class. The optional Habanero Orange Metallic paint color on my test vehicle does show Volkswagen is willing to step outside of its comfort zone. In terms of dimensions, the Tiguan is six inches longer in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.6-inches longer than the CX-5. 
      Interior
      The Tiguan’s interior follows Volkswagen’s ethos of keeping it functional in terms of the design. It features simple dash and design touches such as a silver finish for various trim pieces. Volkswagen does make up for the boring design with an excellent layout of controls. For example, the climate control system is slightly angled upward to not only make it easier to reach, but also make it less of a hassle to look down and see the current settings. Material quality is average for this type of vehicle with a mix of hard and soft plastics.
      The front seats in the Tiguan SE offer a power recline and manual adjustments for fore/aft and height. I really liked the seats in the Tiguan as they provided excellent comfort and firmness for any trip distance. But the Tiguan really surprises in the back seat with head and legroom similar to what you’ll find on a full-size SUV. Passengers sitting back here can also move the seats back and forth, and recline to make themselves more comfortable. The long length of the Tiguan allows for a third-row seat. The seat is standard on front-wheel drive models and optional for all-wheel drive variants. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is a minuscule amount of legroom. Another downside to the third-row is cargo space. The third-row causes a significant reduction in cargo space. With the third-row folded, it offers 4.6 cubic feet less than the two-row variant (33 vs. 37.6). Fold the second-row and the reduction becomes larger - 7.8 cubic feet. I would recommend skipping the third-row option if you opt for an AWD Tiguan.
      Like the exterior, the CX-5’s interior stands out. The dash shows Mazda’s effort on trying to make their interiors feel more like a luxury vehicle with sculpted contours, brushed aluminum, soft-touch plastics with a grain texture, and stitching on certain trim pieces. Compared to the Tiguan, the CX-5’s control layout is more spread out, making it somewhat difficult to find and reach certain controls. 
      The Grand Touring tester featured power adjustments for both front seats. The seats will feel a bit too firm for some passengers, but I found them to be just right. It would have been awesome if Mazda provided ventilation for the front seats to bolster their premium ambitions. The CX-5’s back seat offers a decent amount of headroom for those under six-feet. Legroom is somewhat lacking when put against the competition. I found that my knees were almost touching the back side of the front seat. Cargo space is right in the middle with 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.6 when folded.
      Infotainment
      A seven-inch touchscreen featuring the Mazda Connect infotainment system and a rotary knob controller is standard on all CX-5s. Grand Touring models get navigation as standard, while the Touring gets it as an option. Mazda Connect is a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look somewhat old due to the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Also, trying to figure out which parts of the system are touch-enabled becomes quite tedious as there is no way to tell except through trial and error. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, but I’m hoping the 2019 model will get it.
      For the Tiguan, Volkswagen offers three different infotainment systems ranging from 6.5 to 8-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The current Volkswagen infotainment system is one of the best thanks in part to snappy performance and a simple interface. You can do various smartphone gestures such as swiping to move around the system. One disappointment is the lack of any sort of haptic feedback when touching any of the shortcut buttons sitting on either side of the screen. We would also recommend keeping a cloth in the Tiguan as the glass surface for the infotainment system becomes littered with fingerprints.
      Like in the Atlas I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Tiguan experienced an issue with Apple CarPlay. Applications such as Google Music or Spotify running in CarPlay would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to unfreeze the applications unless I restarted the vehicle. Resetting my iPhone solved this issue.
      Powertrain
      Under the CX-5’s hood is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet (up one from the 2017 model). Mazda has added cylinder deactivation for the 2018 model that allows the engine to run on just two cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen has dropped in a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive complete the package.
      With a higher torque figure and being available between 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, the Tiguan should leave the CX-5 in the dust. But at the stoplight drag race, the CX-5 bests the Tiguan thanks to a sharper throttle response and a steady stream of power. The Tiguan’s turbo-four gets hit with a double-whammy of turbo-lag and a somewhat confused eight-speed automatic transmission, making it feel anything but eager to get off the line. As speeds climb, the story changes. The Tiguan’s engine feels more willing to get moving whenever you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. The CX-5’s engine runs out of steam and you’ll need to really work it to get up to speed at a decent rate.
      Fuel Economy
      The EPA says the 2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD will return 24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan AWD returns 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. Both models returned high fuel economy averages; the CX-5 return 28.5 while the Tiguan got 27.3 mpg during my week-long test. Both models were driven on mix of 60 percent city and 40 percent highway.
      Ride & Handling
      When I reviewed the 2017 Mazda CX-5, I said that it carried on the mantle of being a fun-to-drive crossover set by the first-generation. Driving on some of the back roads around Detroit, the CX-5 felt very agile and showed little body roll. The steering provides sharp responses and excellent weighting. The sporting edge does mean a firm ride, allowing some road imperfections to come inside. Not much road or wind noise comes inside.
      Volkswagen took a different approach with the Tiguan’s ride and handling characteristics. On rough roads, the Tiguan provides a very cushioned ride on some of the roughest payment. This soft ride does hurt the Tiguan when cornering as there is slightly more body roll. But that doesn’t make the Tiguan a bad driving crossover. The chassis feels very willing when pushed and the steering provides a direct feel.
      Value
      The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE AWD begins at $30,230. This particular tester came to $31,575 with the optional Habanero Orange Metallic and fog lights. But the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes with more equipment such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and power adjustments for the driver for only $2,175 less than the Tiguan SE’s base price. You can add navigation, Bose audio system, and sunroof as part of $1,200 Preferred Equipment package. When it comes to the midlevel, it is no contest as the CX-5 walks away.
      The script flips however when you put the 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring under the microscope. The AWD version begins at $30,945 and with a few options such as the Soul Red paint and Premium package, the vehicle seen here comes to $34,685. But you can get into the Tiguan SEL AWD that adds adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and navigation for only $2,295 less than our as-tested CX-5. While the CX-5 does offer more of a premium interior, the larger interior and slightly better infotainment system give the Tiguan a slight edge.
      Verdict
      It feels weird to describe the verdict between the two compact crossovers as a decision to satisfy your desires or needs. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls into the former as it boasts a handsome look that very few models can match, luxurious interior, and handling characteristics that make you feel like you’re driving a sports car. As for the Tiguan, it falls in the latter camp by offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and a better infotainment system. I consider these two to be the best-in-class. But deciding which one is better will ultimately come down to deciding whether to give into your wants or needs.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-5
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $30,945
      As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Package - $1,395.00
      Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00
      Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00
      Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Tiguan
      Trim: SE 4Motion
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400
      Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
      Base Price: $30,230
      As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Habanero Orange Metallic - $295.00
      Front Fog Lights - $150.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      A few weeks ago, I wrote a comparison test between the 2018 Mazda CX-9 and Volkswagen Atlas. It was a close fight, but the Atlas ended up being the victor as it proved to be the better all-around three-row crossover. I find myself comparing these two brands once again, this time with their compact crossovers. Like their larger brethren, the two models take different approaches. The Mazda CX-5 goes for something that provides a premium feel and exciting drive, while the Volkswagen Tiguan uses space and comfort as its guide. Which one of these crossovers  Which one of these crossovers is right for you?
      Exterior
      Mazda’s design team believed evolution would be the right approach for the second-generation CX-5’s design and we have to agree. Taking the first-generation model, designers added more curves to the body, widened the front grille, and angled the front LED headlights. In what is becoming a very crowded class, the CX-5 stands tall, especially when wearing the optional Soul Red paint.
      Like the Atlas, the Volkswagen Tiguan’s shape can be explained as  “looking like a bit of a square, but a posh square.” Little details such as the three-bar grille, LED daytime-running lights, and slightly bulging fenders help give the Tiguan a touch of class. The optional Habanero Orange Metallic paint color on my test vehicle does show Volkswagen is willing to step outside of its comfort zone. In terms of dimensions, the Tiguan is six inches longer in overall length and rides on a wheelbase that is 3.6-inches longer than the CX-5. 
      Interior
      The Tiguan’s interior follows Volkswagen’s ethos of keeping it functional in terms of the design. It features simple dash and design touches such as a silver finish for various trim pieces. Volkswagen does make up for the boring design with an excellent layout of controls. For example, the climate control system is slightly angled upward to not only make it easier to reach, but also make it less of a hassle to look down and see the current settings. Material quality is average for this type of vehicle with a mix of hard and soft plastics.
      The front seats in the Tiguan SE offer a power recline and manual adjustments for fore/aft and height. I really liked the seats in the Tiguan as they provided excellent comfort and firmness for any trip distance. But the Tiguan really surprises in the back seat with head and legroom similar to what you’ll find on a full-size SUV. Passengers sitting back here can also move the seats back and forth, and recline to make themselves more comfortable. The long length of the Tiguan allows for a third-row seat. The seat is standard on front-wheel drive models and optional for all-wheel drive variants. The third-row should only be used for small kids as there is a minuscule amount of legroom. Another downside to the third-row is cargo space. The third-row causes a significant reduction in cargo space. With the third-row folded, it offers 4.6 cubic feet less than the two-row variant (33 vs. 37.6). Fold the second-row and the reduction becomes larger - 7.8 cubic feet. I would recommend skipping the third-row option if you opt for an AWD Tiguan.
      Like the exterior, the CX-5’s interior stands out. The dash shows Mazda’s effort on trying to make their interiors feel more like a luxury vehicle with sculpted contours, brushed aluminum, soft-touch plastics with a grain texture, and stitching on certain trim pieces. Compared to the Tiguan, the CX-5’s control layout is more spread out, making it somewhat difficult to find and reach certain controls. 
      The Grand Touring tester featured power adjustments for both front seats. The seats will feel a bit too firm for some passengers, but I found them to be just right. It would have been awesome if Mazda provided ventilation for the front seats to bolster their premium ambitions. The CX-5’s back seat offers a decent amount of headroom for those under six-feet. Legroom is somewhat lacking when put against the competition. I found that my knees were almost touching the back side of the front seat. Cargo space is right in the middle with 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 59.6 when folded.
      Infotainment
      A seven-inch touchscreen featuring the Mazda Connect infotainment system and a rotary knob controller is standard on all CX-5s. Grand Touring models get navigation as standard, while the Touring gets it as an option. Mazda Connect is a mixed bag. The interface is beginning to look somewhat old due to the use of dark colors and a dull screen. Also, trying to figure out which parts of the system are touch-enabled becomes quite tedious as there is no way to tell except through trial and error. There is no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto compatibility, but I’m hoping the 2019 model will get it.
      For the Tiguan, Volkswagen offers three different infotainment systems ranging from 6.5 to 8-inches. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility come standard. The current Volkswagen infotainment system is one of the best thanks in part to snappy performance and a simple interface. You can do various smartphone gestures such as swiping to move around the system. One disappointment is the lack of any sort of haptic feedback when touching any of the shortcut buttons sitting on either side of the screen. We would also recommend keeping a cloth in the Tiguan as the glass surface for the infotainment system becomes littered with fingerprints.
      Like in the Atlas I reviewed a few weeks ago, the Tiguan experienced an issue with Apple CarPlay. Applications such as Google Music or Spotify running in CarPlay would freeze up. I could exit out to the CarPlay interface, but was unable to unfreeze the applications unless I restarted the vehicle. Resetting my iPhone solved this issue.
      Powertrain
      Under the CX-5’s hood is a 2.5L four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet (up one from the 2017 model). Mazda has added cylinder deactivation for the 2018 model that allows the engine to run on just two cylinders to improve fuel efficiency. This is paired with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. For the Tiguan, Volkswagen has dropped in a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 184 horsepower and 221 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive complete the package.
      With a higher torque figure and being available between 1,600 to 4,300 rpm, the Tiguan should leave the CX-5 in the dust. But at the stoplight drag race, the CX-5 bests the Tiguan thanks to a sharper throttle response and a steady stream of power. The Tiguan’s turbo-four gets hit with a double-whammy of turbo-lag and a somewhat confused eight-speed automatic transmission, making it feel anything but eager to get off the line. As speeds climb, the story changes. The Tiguan’s engine feels more willing to get moving whenever you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway. The CX-5’s engine runs out of steam and you’ll need to really work it to get up to speed at a decent rate.
      Fuel Economy
      The EPA says the 2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD will return 24 City/30 Highway/26 Combined, while the 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan AWD returns 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. Both models returned high fuel economy averages; the CX-5 return 28.5 while the Tiguan got 27.3 mpg during my week-long test. Both models were driven on mix of 60 percent city and 40 percent highway.
      Ride & Handling
      When I reviewed the 2017 Mazda CX-5, I said that it carried on the mantle of being a fun-to-drive crossover set by the first-generation. Driving on some of the back roads around Detroit, the CX-5 felt very agile and showed little body roll. The steering provides sharp responses and excellent weighting. The sporting edge does mean a firm ride, allowing some road imperfections to come inside. Not much road or wind noise comes inside.
      Volkswagen took a different approach with the Tiguan’s ride and handling characteristics. On rough roads, the Tiguan provides a very cushioned ride on some of the roughest payment. This soft ride does hurt the Tiguan when cornering as there is slightly more body roll. But that doesn’t make the Tiguan a bad driving crossover. The chassis feels very willing when pushed and the steering provides a direct feel.
      Value
      The 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SE AWD begins at $30,230. This particular tester came to $31,575 with the optional Habanero Orange Metallic and fog lights. But the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring comes with more equipment such as radar cruise control, lane departure warning, 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, and power adjustments for the driver for only $2,175 less than the Tiguan SE’s base price. You can add navigation, Bose audio system, and sunroof as part of $1,200 Preferred Equipment package. When it comes to the midlevel, it is no contest as the CX-5 walks away.
      The script flips however when you put the 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring under the microscope. The AWD version begins at $30,945 and with a few options such as the Soul Red paint and Premium package, the vehicle seen here comes to $34,685. But you can get into the Tiguan SEL AWD that adds adaptive cruise control, power liftgate, and navigation for only $2,295 less than our as-tested CX-5. While the CX-5 does offer more of a premium interior, the larger interior and slightly better infotainment system give the Tiguan a slight edge.
      Verdict
      It feels weird to describe the verdict between the two compact crossovers as a decision to satisfy your desires or needs. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 falls into the former as it boasts a handsome look that very few models can match, luxurious interior, and handling characteristics that make you feel like you’re driving a sports car. As for the Tiguan, it falls in the latter camp by offering a spacious interior, smooth ride, and a better infotainment system. I consider these two to be the best-in-class. But deciding which one is better will ultimately come down to deciding whether to give into your wants or needs.
      Disclaimer: Mazda and Volkswagen Provided the vehicles, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2018
      Make: Mazda
      Model: CX-5
      Trim: Grand Touring AWD
      Engine: 2.5L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 187 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 186 @4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 24/30/26
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $30,945
      As Tested Price: $34,685 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Package - $1,395.00
      Soul Red Crystal Paint - $595.00
      Illuminated Door Sill Plates - $400.00
      Retractable Cover Cover - $250.00
      Rear Bumper Guard - $125.00
      Year: 2018
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Tiguan
      Trim: SE 4Motion
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged 16-Valve DOHC TSI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 184 @ 4,400
      Torque @ RPM: 221 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23
      Curb Weight: 3,858 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
      Base Price: $30,230
      As Tested Price: $31,575 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Habanero Orange Metallic - $295.00
      Front Fog Lights - $150.00
    • By William Maley
      Yesterday, Ford released the first teaser shot of their upcoming electric crossover with a Mustang-inspired design. The picture shows a dark silhouette of the vehicle with the iconic three-bar taillights of the Mustang. It appears that the roofline is sharply raked, something akin to a BMW X4/X6.
      Ford is promising a 300 mile range when the model is introduced in 2020. As we reported last month, the crossover will not be wearing the Mach 1 nameplate.
      One interesting tidbit about the upcoming electric crossover. Forbes reports that the original version of the electric crossover was scrapped after CEO Jim Hackett thought it looked to generic. The Mustang-inspired design took about six weeks to finish.
      Source: Ford, Forbes

      View full article
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