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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/20/2019 in Articles

  1. 3 points
    A friend of mine has a 2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R. It’s a very safe car, has a good interior, and a rather weak engine. Oh, it also has a CVT or continuously variable transmission. When I talked with him while he took me for a spin, he told me he doesn’t mind the CVT and it is smooth for his Lyft passengers. While being a passenger in his car, the CVT did act like a conventional transmission, although it did dip in the rev range lower than usual. Then he floored it. Drone. It stayed at 3,000 RPM for at least five minutes. It was extremely annoying, but not surprising. Let me explain how a CVT works, and how I think manufacturers need to stop using them. Nerd moment approaching. You will learn many facts and you are welcome. As a surprise, a CVT is an automatic transmission. Manufacturers use this to improve fuel economy. What isn’t surprising is how they work. Instead of using traditional gears, a CVT uses a combination of pullies that are connected by a belt and “steps” . Steps are artificial gears which are preset and made so buyers feel like they’re getting a convenient transmission. Some CVTs, especially in hybrids, tend to not have steps to maximize fuel economy. They are more less compared to traditional transmissions, even 10-speed automatics, but manufacturers think they are worth it. Are they? I do have to point out the positives, no matter how much I dislike this transmission. They can be smooth. Since there is no actual shifting, when a CVT wants to behave, acceleration can feel less jerky compared to a traditional transmission. CVTs have infinite ratios, so they can find the right…ratio…to assist not only with seamless power. They do help with fuel economy which is part of the reason why most Toyota hybrids have forgone the traditional automatic transmission in favor of the CVT. Positive points over, let’s shift to what I hate about the CVT. First, You won’t find a CVT in a powerful car over 300 HP. They just can’t handle all that power! Like I said in the first paragraph, they can drone and be almost obnoxiously loud. I once drove a Honda Accord Hybrid in Colorado, and it decided to stick to 4,000 RPM at 60 mph. For 2 hours. Needless to say, the average sounding sound system was necessary to drown out the noise. My biggest issue with any CVT is that it robs the driver of spirited and fun driving. I have never driven a CVT, gotten out of the car, and said “Wow, this was really fun. I’m glad that this engine and transmission combination exist.” Now, which companies are the biggest culprits? Japanese companies. Toyota, Nissan, Subaru, and Honda all use CVTs in mostly all their vehicles, and in all of their hybrids. A few other companies such as Audi will use a CVT in their cheaper models, but most of their cars use dual-clutch automatics or traditional automatics. A disappointment of a vehicle created with a CVT is the Infiniti QX50. It is a handsome looking vehicle with a unique turbocharged engine and…a CVT. Basically, it’s ruined because of the CVT. I understand why manufacturers use CVTs due to how smooth it can be along with the increase in MPG , but they just seem to ruin the cars. I don’t understand why they can’t use dual-clutch automated manual or 8-10 speed automatics? These transmissions are getting better all the time. Manufacturers, stop with the CVTs! They are not necessary! Just use regular transmissions! They can return similar MPG, drive smooth, and won’t stick to 4,000 RPM for 2 hours while in Colorado. I can safely say that I hate the CVT, and I think that I’m not the only one. Have you driven a vehicle with a CVT and either liked or disliked it? Did you decide not to buy a vehicle with a CVT or were you sold on the two benefits it has? Let us know in the comments below and follow us on social media.
  2. 1 point
    As part of General Motors' tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers, there is a planned $3 billion investment into the Detroit-Hamtramck plant to make electric trucks, SUVs, and vans. The program, called BT1 is part of a larger $7.7 billion investment in GM's plants over the next four years. The BT1 program includes an electric truck for GMC and an electric SUV for Cadillac for the 2023 model year. But before that happens, in 2021 a low volume BT1 pickup will start production under a different brand while a performance truck follows in 2022, and then an electric SUV in 2023. Rumor has it that these low volume BT1 vehicles could be sold under the Hummer brand, not used since 2010, but that decision has not been finalized. If GM did bring the Hummer brand back as an EV brand, it would have instant name brand recognition and a leg up on rival startup Rivian who has a truck due out in 2020. GM would not need to spend as much money to market the brand. The vehicles on the new BT1 platform would use a "skateboard" architecture that bundles the batteries and electric motor together. The architecture is highly flexible allowing GM to build vehicles in front, rear, or all-wheel drive configurations.
  3. 1 point
    Last month, Porsche unveiled the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, the two top trims of the Taycan, priced starting around $155,000. Now, Porsche is debuting the Taycan 4S, a new lower price model. The Taycan 4S comes with a single-layer performance battery with 79.2 kWh as standard, the two-layer performance battery plus from the Taycan Turbo is available as an option. Regardless of which battery is chosen, the Taycan can accelerate to 60 in as little as 3.8 seconds. As of yet, range estimates for the U.S. have not been published, but assume somewhere north of 250 miles on the performance plus battery. All-wheel drive is standard on the 4S, with a dual motor setup and a 2-speed transmission on the rear motor, the overall motor package is smaller and lighter than in the Turbo and Turbo S. The Taycan can charge at up to 800 volts at a high-speed DC charging station. That can bring the charge from 5% to 80% in as little as 22.5 minutes. Porsche has partnered with Amazon to have 240 volt home chargers installed at customer's homes for an additional charge. The Taycan 4S will start at $103,800 for the base model and $110,380 for the model with the performance plus battery. Ordering of the Taycan 4S is available immediately.
  4. 1 point
    Nissan has announced a date for the next version of the Nissan Titan. The refresh for the 2020 Model year will be unveiled on September 26th. It is said to include a new "hot" Nissan badge with lava red accents featured on the PRO-4X model. Not much to be seen from the teaser picture, but it shows a revised grille with new headlights which include a C-Shaped running light, new front bumper, fog lights, and more visible tow hooks. Also expect a new tail gate and a revised center stack and switchgear. One the powertrain front, gone will be the optional 5.0 liter Cummins V8 diesel. The only engine offered will be the 5.6 liter gasoline V8, but no word on if that has received any updates. Currently it produces 390 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft of torque. The 2020 Nissan Armada also recently leaked out and is expected to be debuted at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show.
  5. 1 point
    Back in February, Amazon helped Rivian by investing $700 million into the company. Now Amazon is helping further with one first big order. Amazon is ordering 100,000 vans to be delivered by 2024. The first deliveries should start in 2021 and prototypes will likely be seen next year. At that rate of production, Rivian would immediately start outselling the Nissan NV and NV200 combined. The van is exclusive to the Amazon partnership and Rivian says it will not delay any of the R1T or R1S deliveries as it is being built on a separate assembly line at the Normal IL. facility. Rivian used a skateboard chassis for their R1T and R1S, so building a van body (R1V?) over top of the skateboard shouldn't be too hard of a task. The R1T has a claimed range of up to 400 miles on a single charge and being capable of getting to an 80 percent charge inside of an hour. Amazon's use for the vans is clear. They have committed to reaching the goals of the United Nations Paris Agreement 10 years early with 80% of their energy use being renewable by 2024 and 100% by 2030.
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