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Found 48 results

  1. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 24, 2013 The letter R in the automotive world means an automaker has added a bit of spice to one of their vehicles. Examples include Acura Integra Type R and Volkswagen Golf R32 and R. The best example of the letter R being used by an automaker is Volvo. A brand known for safety and button-down styling would surprise the world when it introduced the 850 T-5 R sedan and wagon in 1995. Draped in some very wild colors, the 850 T-5 R was for its time one of fastest vehicles on the planet thanks to some major tweaks to the powertrain and suspension. Volvo would follow up with the 1999 V70R and the 2003 - 2006 S60R and V70R models, all of them proving improved performance over the base models. But since the S60R and V70R models left the Volvo lineup, there hasn’t quite been the craziness the R models brought forth. Instead Volvo fell back into its safety ritual, but with more distinctive designs. Two key things would happen to Volvo within the past couple of years to bring them back into the crazy fold. First would be Volvo strengthening and expanding its partnership with its racing and performance partner Polestar. Second would be the introduction of the R-Design trim for the S60 and XC60. R-Design brings some tweaks to exterior, engine, and chassis. That brings us to the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design. Does it show signs that craziness has entered Volvo once more? Subtlety? Where?! Volvo’s have been known to be very understated in their designs and the S60 R-Design is no exception to that rule, if you don’t decide to get your R-Design in what Volvo calls Rebel Blue. While I did like the bold color choice, some people weren’t so impressed with it. If you want to be fully understated with your S60 R-Design, go with another color. Aside from the color, there’s a lot to appreciate about the S60’s design. The new S60 is an evolution of the first-generation model with some coupe cues in the form of a short rear overhang and sloping roof. Volvo has also fitted a unique set of headlights with LEDs sitting right beside it. The R-Design package layers on a lower front spoiler, eighteen-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, rear diffuser with dual-exhaust pipes, and a little R-Design badge on the front denoting its status. A Lesson in Simplicity The S60 R-Design’s interior is one of simplicity. The dashboard is very clean in its design with a mixture of a soft-touch materials, metal accents around the vents and door pulls, and a unique metal center stack. Its a very handsome and and well-built interior. The front seats, draped in black leather, were some of the most comfortable seats I have sat in all year. Providing eight-way adjustments, heat, and the right amount of bolstering, the seats had the right of comfort and support for enthusiastic or long drives. Backseat passengers will appreciate the amount of headroom. Legroom can vary from good to none depending on how far the front seat is set. Simplicity is a good word to describe the infotainment system. Instead of going with a controller like BMW, Mercedes and Audi, or a touchscreen with capacitive touch buttons like Cadillac and Lincoln, Volvo went with using a center stack full of buttons and knobs for to move around and control the system which appears on a seven-inch non-touch color screen. Some will complain that the center stack has way too many buttons and is a distraction to see which button you need to press. I would agree that when you're first using it, but after a while, it becomes second nature. While its very easy to use the system, I found that doing certain functions like moving around the map was a pain in the butt. I hope Volvo keeps the idea of simplicity when working on the next generation of their infotainment system, but maybe adds a joystiq or something that makes certain functions easier to do. Those Crazy Swedes Under the S60 T6 AWD R-Design is Volvo’s T6 engine; a turbocharged straight-six. In the normal S60 T6, you’re looking at 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. In the R-Design model, you’re looking at 325 horsepower (@ 5,400 RPM) and 354 lb-ft of torque (@ 3,200 - 3,600 RPM). This is in part due to Polestar which increased the boost of the turbocharger and installed a new module which changes ignition, fuel mapping and throttle response. Power is sent to a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission down to a Haldex-built AWD system. The engine has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. If you go about and drive the S60 R-Design normally, the engine is able to keep up with traffic very well with nary a hint of its performance cred. However if you decide to slam the pedal to the floor or throw the transmission into either sport or manual mode, the engine will throw you back into your seat and climb in speed at a very alarming rate. Plus, you get this amazing growl from the exhaust. The six-speed automatic does an amazing job of proving smooth and unobtrusive shifts whether I had my foot to the floor or moving along at a normal pace. I did wish the R-Design came with some paddles to have more fun with the engine. I did have an odd problem with this S60 R-Design’s gas pedal. If I put my foot on the pedal normally, about a quarter-way down, I found that I would going into hyperspace speed. But if maybe go an eighth of the way down on the pedal, the car accelerates normally. I’m not whether this is a programming issue or not, but reading through some other reviews of this car don’t mention this problem, so its just an issue with this particular vehicle. The Haldex-built AWD system was non-intrusive and provided a feeling of sure-footedness no matter the conditions outside. Combined with Volvo’s Corner Traction Control system, the AWD system made the vehicle feel small and nimble when going through corners. Fuel economy wise, S60 T6 R-Design is right in the middle of the pack in the compact luxury car class with the EPA rating it 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. For the week, I averaged 21.2 MPG with mostly suburban driving. A word of warning though; if you decide to stick your foot in the S60 T6 R-Design more often than not, be prepared to see your average MPG drop into the mid-teens. The R-Design’s suspension is mostly the same as the normal S60. There are MacPherson struts up front and a independent rear suspension setup with stabilizer bars at either end. For the R-Design model, Volvo adds a 15 millimeter drop to the suspension, stiffer springs and bushings, strut tower brace, and Mono-tube shocks in the rear. These changes give the S60 R-Design almost the same handling characteristics as those from Germany. As for driving on a day to day basis, the R-Design suspension was able to cope with road imperfections very well. The steering comes in the form of a rack and pinion setup with variable power assist. The steering hits the right balance of weight and feel whether you're attacking your favorite road or doing the daily drive. It gives the Germans and even the Cadillac ATS a run for their money. It's A Volvo After All Being a Volvo of course, the S60 R-Design is filled to the brim with safety technologies. Along with the AWD system and Corner Traction Control, the R-Design is fitted airbags all around the vehicle, Volvo’s Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) and Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), a rearview camera, and City Safety which uses a sensor mounted at the top of the windshield to monitor traffic ahead of you and put the brakes on if the vehicle senses an impending collision. One feature I wished was standard on the S60 R-Design was Volvo’s BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) which can tell you if a vehicle is in your blind spot. This would be really helpful since rear visibility is terrible thanks to some thick C-Pillars. BLIS is a $700 option on the R-Design, but I do hope Volvo makes it standard sometime in the S60’s lifecycle. Welcome To Crazy Town The 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design shows signs of craziness returning to Volvo. The evidence for this includes the wild blue paint, body modifications that are subtle, the two-sidedness of the powertrain, and a very impressive chassis setup. While Volvo might not have the same cachet as a BMW or an Audi, the S60 R-Design can match them in other areas. If you’re the person who doesn't like to follow the leader, the S60 R-Design is worth a look. Disclaimer: Volvo Cars of North America provided the S60 R-Design, Insurance, and one tank of gas. Album: 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Year - 2013 Make – Volvo Model – S60 Trim – T6 AWD R-Design Engine – 3.0L Turbocharged Inline-Six Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 325 @ 5400 RPM Torque @ RPM – 354 @ 3000 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21 Curb Weight – 3,835 lbs Location of Manufacture – Ghent, Belgum Base Price - $43,900.00 As Tested Price - $48,195.00 (Includes $895.00 destination charge) Options: S60 Platinum Package - $2,700.00 Climate Package - $700.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  2. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com January 24, 2013 The letter R in the automotive world means an automaker has added a bit of spice to one of their vehicles. Examples include Acura Integra Type R and Volkswagen Golf R32 and R. The best example of the letter R being used by an automaker is Volvo. A brand known for safety and button-down styling would surprise the world when it introduced the 850 T-5 R sedan and wagon in 1995. Draped in some very wild colors, the 850 T-5 R was for its time one of fastest vehicles on the planet thanks to some major tweaks to the powertrain and suspension. Volvo would follow up with the 1999 V70R and the 2003 - 2006 S60R and V70R models, all of them proving improved performance over the base models. But since the S60R and V70R models left the Volvo lineup, there hasn’t quite been the craziness the R models brought forth. Instead Volvo fell back into its safety ritual, but with more distinctive designs. Two key things would happen to Volvo within the past couple of years to bring them back into the crazy fold. First would be Volvo strengthening and expanding its partnership with its racing and performance partner Polestar. Second would be the introduction of the R-Design trim for the S60 and XC60. R-Design brings some tweaks to exterior, engine, and chassis. That brings us to the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design. Does it show signs that craziness has entered Volvo once more? Subtlety? Where?! Volvo’s have been known to be very understated in their designs and the S60 R-Design is no exception to that rule, if you don’t decide to get your R-Design in what Volvo calls Rebel Blue. While I did like the bold color choice, some people weren’t so impressed with it. If you want to be fully understated with your S60 R-Design, go with another color. Aside from the color, there’s a lot to appreciate about the S60’s design. The new S60 is an evolution of the first-generation model with some coupe cues in the form of a short rear overhang and sloping roof. Volvo has also fitted a unique set of headlights with LEDs sitting right beside it. The R-Design package layers on a lower front spoiler, eighteen-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, rear diffuser with dual-exhaust pipes, and a little R-Design badge on the front denoting its status. A Lesson in Simplicity The S60 R-Design’s interior is one of simplicity. The dashboard is very clean in its design with a mixture of a soft-touch materials, metal accents around the vents and door pulls, and a unique metal center stack. Its a very handsome and and well-built interior. The front seats, draped in black leather, were some of the most comfortable seats I have sat in all year. Providing eight-way adjustments, heat, and the right amount of bolstering, the seats had the right of comfort and support for enthusiastic or long drives. Backseat passengers will appreciate the amount of headroom. Legroom can vary from good to none depending on how far the front seat is set. Simplicity is a good word to describe the infotainment system. Instead of going with a controller like BMW, Mercedes and Audi, or a touchscreen with capacitive touch buttons like Cadillac and Lincoln, Volvo went with using a center stack full of buttons and knobs for to move around and control the system which appears on a seven-inch non-touch color screen. Some will complain that the center stack has way too many buttons and is a distraction to see which button you need to press. I would agree that when you're first using it, but after a while, it becomes second nature. While its very easy to use the system, I found that doing certain functions like moving around the map was a pain in the butt. I hope Volvo keeps the idea of simplicity when working on the next generation of their infotainment system, but maybe adds a joystiq or something that makes certain functions easier to do. Those Crazy Swedes Under the S60 T6 AWD R-Design is Volvo’s T6 engine; a turbocharged straight-six. In the normal S60 T6, you’re looking at 300 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. In the R-Design model, you’re looking at 325 horsepower (@ 5,400 RPM) and 354 lb-ft of torque (@ 3,200 - 3,600 RPM). This is in part due to Polestar which increased the boost of the turbocharger and installed a new module which changes ignition, fuel mapping and throttle response. Power is sent to a six-speed Geartronic automatic transmission down to a Haldex-built AWD system. The engine has a Jekyll and Hyde personality. If you go about and drive the S60 R-Design normally, the engine is able to keep up with traffic very well with nary a hint of its performance cred. However if you decide to slam the pedal to the floor or throw the transmission into either sport or manual mode, the engine will throw you back into your seat and climb in speed at a very alarming rate. Plus, you get this amazing growl from the exhaust. The six-speed automatic does an amazing job of proving smooth and unobtrusive shifts whether I had my foot to the floor or moving along at a normal pace. I did wish the R-Design came with some paddles to have more fun with the engine. I did have an odd problem with this S60 R-Design’s gas pedal. If I put my foot on the pedal normally, about a quarter-way down, I found that I would going into hyperspace speed. But if maybe go an eighth of the way down on the pedal, the car accelerates normally. I’m not whether this is a programming issue or not, but reading through some other reviews of this car don’t mention this problem, so its just an issue with this particular vehicle. The Haldex-built AWD system was non-intrusive and provided a feeling of sure-footedness no matter the conditions outside. Combined with Volvo’s Corner Traction Control system, the AWD system made the vehicle feel small and nimble when going through corners. Fuel economy wise, S60 T6 R-Design is right in the middle of the pack in the compact luxury car class with the EPA rating it 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. For the week, I averaged 21.2 MPG with mostly suburban driving. A word of warning though; if you decide to stick your foot in the S60 T6 R-Design more often than not, be prepared to see your average MPG drop into the mid-teens. The R-Design’s suspension is mostly the same as the normal S60. There are MacPherson struts up front and a independent rear suspension setup with stabilizer bars at either end. For the R-Design model, Volvo adds a 15 millimeter drop to the suspension, stiffer springs and bushings, strut tower brace, and Mono-tube shocks in the rear. These changes give the S60 R-Design almost the same handling characteristics as those from Germany. As for driving on a day to day basis, the R-Design suspension was able to cope with road imperfections very well. The steering comes in the form of a rack and pinion setup with variable power assist. The steering hits the right balance of weight and feel whether you're attacking your favorite road or doing the daily drive. It gives the Germans and even the Cadillac ATS a run for their money. It's A Volvo After All Being a Volvo of course, the S60 R-Design is filled to the brim with safety technologies. Along with the AWD system and Corner Traction Control, the R-Design is fitted airbags all around the vehicle, Volvo’s Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) and Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), a rearview camera, and City Safety which uses a sensor mounted at the top of the windshield to monitor traffic ahead of you and put the brakes on if the vehicle senses an impending collision. One feature I wished was standard on the S60 R-Design was Volvo’s BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) which can tell you if a vehicle is in your blind spot. This would be really helpful since rear visibility is terrible thanks to some thick C-Pillars. BLIS is a $700 option on the R-Design, but I do hope Volvo makes it standard sometime in the S60’s lifecycle. Welcome To Crazy Town The 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design shows signs of craziness returning to Volvo. The evidence for this includes the wild blue paint, body modifications that are subtle, the two-sidedness of the powertrain, and a very impressive chassis setup. While Volvo might not have the same cachet as a BMW or an Audi, the S60 R-Design can match them in other areas. If you’re the person who doesn't like to follow the leader, the S60 R-Design is worth a look. Disclaimer: Volvo Cars of North America provided the S60 R-Design, Insurance, and one tank of gas. Album: 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Year - 2013 Make – Volvo Model – S60 Trim – T6 AWD R-Design Engine – 3.0L Turbocharged Inline-Six Driveline – All-Wheel Drive, Six-Speed Automatic Horsepower @ RPM – 325 @ 5400 RPM Torque @ RPM – 354 @ 3000 RPM Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21 Curb Weight – 3,835 lbs Location of Manufacture – Ghent, Belgum Base Price - $43,900.00 As Tested Price - $48,195.00 (Includes $895.00 destination charge) Options: S60 Platinum Package - $2,700.00 Climate Package - $700.00 William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  3. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 If there is one vehicle that has been talked about more than any other since I've been writing here at Cheers and Gears, that vehicle would be the new Cadillac ATS. There are a number of threads speculating, arguing, complaining, and talking about this compact luxury sedan. Well the day has come. We finally have an ATS in for an interactive review. This ATS comes equipped with the 3.6 DI V6 producing 321 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic, and the optional AWD system. Anyone who was hoping this was the Performance Collection model will be somewhat disappointed as this is the base Luxury Collection model. But we do have CUE and a Cold Weather Package bringing the pricetag to $45,985 (includes $895.00 destination charge). I have the ATS till Monday and will be updating with thoughts during that time. If you have questions for the ATS, get them in. Update - Read the 2013 Cadillac ATS Full Review here and my Review of Cadillac's CUE system here. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  4. By William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 27, 2012 If there is one vehicle that has been talked about more than any other since I've been writing here at Cheers and Gears, that vehicle would be the new Cadillac ATS. There are a number of threads speculating, arguing, complaining, and talking about this compact luxury sedan. Well the day has come. We finally have an ATS in for an interactive review. This ATS comes equipped with the 3.6 DI V6 producing 321 HP and 275 lb-ft of torque, a six-speed automatic, and the optional AWD system. Anyone who was hoping this was the Performance Collection model will be somewhat disappointed as this is the base Luxury Collection model. But we do have CUE and a Cold Weather Package bringing the pricetag to $45,985 (includes $895.00 destination charge). I have the ATS till Monday and will be updating with thoughts during that time. If you have questions for the ATS, get them in. Update - Read the 2013 Cadillac ATS Full Review here and my Review of Cadillac's CUE system here. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  5. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 15, 2012 I'm very excited with this week's vehicle at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit Garage since its a Volvo and very special one at that. This happens to be the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design. Now, the R-Design adds some performance goodies to a normal S60 T6 AWD in the form of some changes to the body giving it a more aggressive look, a R-Design sport chassis, and some performance tweaks to the 3.0L turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The pricetag on this S60 T6 AWD R-Design is $48,195.00 thanks in part to the S60 Platinum package which adds navigation, upgraded audio system, and a rear camera for $2,700, and the climate package which adds heated seats, an air quality system, and heated windshield nozzles for $700.00. First impressions are very positive. I like the looks and the interior. The engine moves the S60 at a very rapid pace. The AWD makes sure that power is getting onto the road and keeping the vehicle on there as well. Couple concerns I have so far with the S60. One: the back window is very small. This isn't helped with the back seat headrests that cause some big blind spots. Two: the gas has two positions. Lightly touch the pedal and you're moving at a normal pace. Touch the pedal like you normally would and you're entering hyperspace. There isn't a smooth increase of acceleration when you press on the pedal. Its either on or really on. I will have more thoughts on the S60 during this week. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this, drop them below. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  6. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 15, 2012 I'm very excited with this week's vehicle at the Cheers & Gears' Detroit Garage since its a Volvo and very special one at that. This happens to be the 2013 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design. Now, the R-Design adds some performance goodies to a normal S60 T6 AWD in the form of some changes to the body giving it a more aggressive look, a R-Design sport chassis, and some performance tweaks to the 3.0L turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The pricetag on this S60 T6 AWD R-Design is $48,195.00 thanks in part to the S60 Platinum package which adds navigation, upgraded audio system, and a rear camera for $2,700, and the climate package which adds heated seats, an air quality system, and heated windshield nozzles for $700.00. First impressions are very positive. I like the looks and the interior. The engine moves the S60 at a very rapid pace. The AWD makes sure that power is getting onto the road and keeping the vehicle on there as well. Couple concerns I have so far with the S60. One: the back window is very small. This isn't helped with the back seat headrests that cause some big blind spots. Two: the gas has two positions. Lightly touch the pedal and you're moving at a normal pace. Touch the pedal like you normally would and you're entering hyperspace. There isn't a smooth increase of acceleration when you press on the pedal. Its either on or really on. I will have more thoughts on the S60 during this week. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this, drop them below. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  7. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 2, 2012 Jaguar's global brand director Adrian Hallmark said something very interesting at the launch of the XF and XJ all-wheel drive models. "I can't think of any model that wouldn't benefit from not having the option of it." There's one problem with that at the moment. Jaguar's current models weren't engineered to have a AWD system installed. The only reason Jaguar put one into the XF and XJ with the new supercharged V6 was that they could see a return on their investment when the two vehicles go sale in the U.S. and Canada. No other Jaguar engine will be mated to the all-wheel drive system for now. In future models though, that could change. "At the moment, we can't take the full grid of engines, models and drivetrains and tick every box and offer them all. We have to prioritise. In the future, we know what it takes to get all-wheel drive," said Hallmark. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  8. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 2, 2012 Jaguar's global brand director Adrian Hallmark said something very interesting at the launch of the XF and XJ all-wheel drive models. "I can't think of any model that wouldn't benefit from not having the option of it." There's one problem with that at the moment. Jaguar's current models weren't engineered to have a AWD system installed. The only reason Jaguar put one into the XF and XJ with the new supercharged V6 was that they could see a return on their investment when the two vehicles go sale in the U.S. and Canada. No other Jaguar engine will be mated to the all-wheel drive system for now. In future models though, that could change. "At the moment, we can't take the full grid of engines, models and drivetrains and tick every box and offer them all. We have to prioritise. In the future, we know what it takes to get all-wheel drive," said Hallmark. Source: Autocar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  9. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 2, 2012 Last month, we reported that Mercedes-Benz's performance branch, AMG is looking at using AWD in more of their models. "The traction is a little bit of a problem for us, and we can solve this problem with all-wheel-drive. It's a good idea to have all-wheel-drive. We just think about that because we won't bring the power and the torque to the road if you always lose the grip and the [traction control system] kills all the power and torque," said Friedrich Eichlers, the head of powertrains at AMG in a interview with Drive.com.au. This week, Inside Line is reporting that we could see the first model to use AWD at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. A source says Mercedes-Benz will show a E63 AMG with AWD. Power will be the M157 twin-turbocharged 5.5L V8 currently used in the E63 producing either 518 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque, or 550 HP and 590 lb-ft with the optional AMG performance pack. No word if this is a production model or a concept. Source: Inside Line Related Stories: AMG Plans More AWD Models William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  10. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com December 2, 2012 Last month, we reported that Mercedes-Benz's performance branch, AMG is looking at using AWD in more of their models. "The traction is a little bit of a problem for us, and we can solve this problem with all-wheel-drive. It's a good idea to have all-wheel-drive. We just think about that because we won't bring the power and the torque to the road if you always lose the grip and the [traction control system] kills all the power and torque," said Friedrich Eichlers, the head of powertrains at AMG in a interview with Drive.com.au. This week, Inside Line is reporting that we could see the first model to use AWD at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show. A source says Mercedes-Benz will show a E63 AMG with AWD. Power will be the M157 twin-turbocharged 5.5L V8 currently used in the E63 producing either 518 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque, or 550 HP and 590 lb-ft with the optional AMG performance pack. No word if this is a production model or a concept. Source: Inside Line Related Stories: AMG Plans More AWD Models William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  11. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 19, 2012 Mercedes-Benz's performance arm, AMG is looking to using AWD in more of their vehicles. "We will not only have all-wheel-drive in the SUVs and the compact cars, we will also have that in the performance sedans," said Friedrich Eichlers, AMG's of engines and powertrains. The reasoning with going towards AWD is due to the amount of power the current crop of AMG vehicles is overwhelming the rear wheels. "If you want to be a member of the club with cars that have 0-100km/h times of around 3.0 seconds, then you need to have all-wheel-drive for your sports cars. The traction is a little bit of a problem for us, and we can solve this problem with all-wheel-drive. It's a good idea to have all-wheel-drive. We just think about that because we won't bring the power and the torque to the road if you always lose the grip and the [traction control system] kills all the power and torque," said Eichlers. Now AMG won't be moving all of their vehicles to AWD. There will be RWD models along with the AWD. "I think we will have both [rear- and all-wheel-drive models]," Eichlers says. "Some people like two-wheel-drive because the steering is a little bit lighter and you can have more fun, with drift, when the rear of the car comes around. Some people like that." Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  12. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 19, 2012 Mercedes-Benz's performance arm, AMG is looking to using AWD in more of their vehicles. "We will not only have all-wheel-drive in the SUVs and the compact cars, we will also have that in the performance sedans," said Friedrich Eichlers, AMG's of engines and powertrains. The reasoning with going towards AWD is due to the amount of power the current crop of AMG vehicles is overwhelming the rear wheels. "If you want to be a member of the club with cars that have 0-100km/h times of around 3.0 seconds, then you need to have all-wheel-drive for your sports cars. The traction is a little bit of a problem for us, and we can solve this problem with all-wheel-drive. It's a good idea to have all-wheel-drive. We just think about that because we won't bring the power and the torque to the road if you always lose the grip and the [traction control system] kills all the power and torque," said Eichlers. Now AMG won't be moving all of their vehicles to AWD. There will be RWD models along with the AWD. "I think we will have both [rear- and all-wheel-drive models]," Eichlers says. "Some people like two-wheel-drive because the steering is a little bit lighter and you can have more fun, with drift, when the rear of the car comes around. Some people like that." Source: Drive.com.au William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  13. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 15, 2012 Work on the next-generation Toyota Prius is already underway. A few weeks ago, we reported on Toyota considering a new design for the Prius. Now, we have gotten word on some mechanical changes. Auto Express is reporting that next-gen Prius and Prius Plug-In will come equipped with a e-4WD system. “The rear wheels will be driven by a motor in an e-4WD system. Targeting snowy areas, they will operate at up to 37mph,” a source tells the magazine. Also in the cards for the new Prius will be a weight drop of about 154 lbs thanks to a new platform. Other changes will include a more aerodynamic body, a modified 1.8L four-cylinder, and downsized inverter and electric motor. Those changes will make the Prius quicker and possibly deliver 90 MPG. One item that won't change are the nickel-metal hydride batteries. Toyota engineers still believe the nickel-metal hydride batteries are still the best at managing power delivery during intensive use and charging. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Related Stories: Rumorpile: Toyota To Change Design Of Next Prius?
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com November 15, 2012 Work on the next-generation Toyota Prius is already underway. A few weeks ago, we reported on Toyota considering a new design for the Prius. Now, we have gotten word on some mechanical changes. Auto Express is reporting that next-gen Prius and Prius Plug-In will come equipped with a e-4WD system. “The rear wheels will be driven by a motor in an e-4WD system. Targeting snowy areas, they will operate at up to 37mph,” a source tells the magazine. Also in the cards for the new Prius will be a weight drop of about 154 lbs thanks to a new platform. Other changes will include a more aerodynamic body, a modified 1.8L four-cylinder, and downsized inverter and electric motor. Those changes will make the Prius quicker and possibly deliver 90 MPG. One item that won't change are the nickel-metal hydride batteries. Toyota engineers still believe the nickel-metal hydride batteries are still the best at managing power delivery during intensive use and charging. Source: Auto Express William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. Related Stories: Rumorpile: Toyota To Change Design Of Next Prius? View full article
  15. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 30, 2012 If there was an automaker who closely followed Mitsubishi’s story in the U.S. to a degree, that automaker would be Suzuki. Suzuki, much like Mitsubishi was a rising star in the 1990’s and early 2000’s with vehicles like the Swift, Sidekick, Grand Vitara, XL7, and SX4. However in the late 2000’s, Suzuki began a fast decline into obscurity. Magazine and television ads began to disappear slowly, dealers either closed up shop or turned to something else, and people began to think that Suzuki was gone. Well, Suzuki is still around and building vehicles for the U.S. The brand’s newest vehicle, the Kizashi, is its second-take on a midsize sedan. Suzuki’s first attempt was the 2004 Verona. A rebadged Daewoo Magnus, the Verona was very forgettable and was pulled off the market. Since going on sale in 2010, the Kizashi has received favorable reviews in the automotive press as it is often lauded as one of the best sedans currently on sale. The buying public on the other hand doesn’t even know it exists. Does the Kizashi deserve more attention or should it stay in obscurity just like its brand? Next: The Outside Look Exterior Designers for the Kizashi went for a muscular, bold look. That’s evident when you look at the Kizashi ‘s front end where there is a sculpted hood, two-tiered front grille arrangement, a set of projector headlights, and flared front fenders. The side has a set of body skirts along the doors and a set of eighteen-inch sport wheels, which are standard equipment on the Sport GTS model, which we evaluated. Around the back, Suzuki’s designers did their own interpretation of the “Bangle-Butt” and it has actually worked. Other design cues for the back include an integrated spoiler with stoplight on the trunk lid and a set of chrome surrounds hiding the exhausts. Suzuki mostly pulls off the look on the Kizashi except for one item: ahead of the front wheels, Suzuki slapped on some bright orange reflectors for the turn signals. This addition doesn’t make sense for a vehicle design in the 21st century. Next: Come On In Interior The Kizashi’s interior is really impressive for a Suzuki. That might sound like an underhanded compliment, but anyone who has sat in past Suzuki vehicles knows, the interiors left a lot to desire. Materials used throughout are a combination of soft- and hard-touch plastics, and metal trim. Build quality is very good with no apparent gaps or separation of materials on the 14,000 mile example we had for review. The Sport GTS model comes with set a of bolstered, cloth bucket seats for the front passengers. The driver gets a power seat with ten-way adjustment, lumbar, and memory function. Finding a comfortable position in the seat does take some time, but you can find one. Back seat passengers will find a cloth-covered bench seat and a surprising amount of head and legroom. The Kizashi Sport GTS comes well equipped for the pricetag. Standard equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, trip computer, dual-zone climate controls, Rockford Fosgate sound system, USB input for your MP3 player, sunroof, and 60/40 folding rear seats. The only options on our Kizashi were a trunk mat, floor mats, first aid kit, and a Bluetooth system. Next: Under the Hood Powertrain All Kizashi models come with one engine choice; a 2.4L inline-four producing either 185 HP (@ 6500 RPM) if you go for the six-speed manual or 180 HP (@ 6000 RPM) if you pick the CVT. Torque is 170 lb-ft (@ 4000 RPM), no matter the transmission choice. You also have the choice between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. If you do go for all-wheel drive like ours, you only transmission choice is the CVT. Leaving from a stop, the 2.4L is initially sluggish before it starts to build some speed at a quick rate, as the engine revs up. If you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway, the 2.4 is able to perform without a sweat. The CVT makes sure to keep you in the power as best as it can and is very smooth. Also, Suzuki fitted steering wheel paddles to the Sport GTS to mimic a six-speed transmission. The paddles do work very well, giving you the feeling of total control when taking the Kizashi for an enthusiastic drive. The Kizashi’s AWD system is unique as you can turn the system on and off via a button next to the steering wheel. The only way you know when you have engaged the system is an AWD light turns on in the instrument cluster. The system will seamlessly kick on if the Kizashi has a loss of traction or if you decide to be aggressive. The sacrifice you make for the sure footedness of all-wheel drive is less than ideal fuel economy rating. The EPA rates the Kizashi Sport GTS AWD EPA at 22 City/29 Highway/25 Combined. This comes from the extra 292 lbs the AWD system adds to the Kizashi’s weight. Average for the week was 24.5 MPG. On the highway, the Kizashi did much better, recording an average of 32.3 MPG. Next: The Drive Ride & Drive The Kizashi’s suspension is made up of MacPherson struts up front and a five-point multilink setup in the rear. Steering comes in the form of an electric power steering system with a rack and pinion setup. The steering feels like something you would find in a sports car. Each turn of the Kizashi’s steering wheel is directly sent to front tires. In turn, the system provides a surprising amount of road feel for the driver. This combination makes the Kizashi a joy to drive on curvy roads. During normal driving, the Kizashi does a good job of proving a mostly comfortable and stable ride for passengers. Driving on rough surfaces, the Kizashi’s suspension does a decent job of minimizing the impacts. Noise from engine is mostly well-muted. The same cannot be said for road and wind noise as both are somewhat existent, but not to the point where you carry some ear plugs. Next: The Verdict Verdict I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel at the time of the Kizashi’s departure, after the week-long evaluation. When that time came, I felt surprised and amazed at Suzuki’s second mid-size effort. The muscular and sporty exterior hides one of the best suspension and all-wheel-drive setups in the class. Plus, the Kizashi has one of the better CVTs in the industry and comes with a nicely-equipped interior. However, the Kizashi isn’t the most fuel-efficient vehicle, despite being one of the smallest and lightest in its class. Plus, the 2.4L is very sluggish on initial acceleration. Those problems pale in comparison to the biggest drawback the Kizashi has, Suzuki itself. As I eluded in the introduction, Suzuki in the U.S. isn’t doing so hot. In a report back in April, we wondered whether the brand was preparing to the North American market leave because of certain developments. Some of those included cutting auto show appearances, saying goodbye to the top U.S. product planning and marketing executive, and suspending social media outreach. Since that report, the news for Suzuki hasn’t got any better. For 2012, sales are still down and the company is focusing on controlling its expenses. Add to the lack advertising and the silence any new products coming to U.S., and it’s easy to see why everyone is wondering what the future holds for Suzuki in the U.S. That leaves me in a tough spot with the Kizashi since I really liked it and would recommend it to anyone. However, the uncertainty of Suzuki in the States gives me some hesitation on recommending it. If you’re shopping for a new midsize sedan, you do at least need to give the Kizashi a chance. Vehicles like the Kizashi only appear once in a while and might be not be long before this disappears. Cheers: Exterior Styling Interior Equipment Interior Space CVT AWD System Handling during sporty and normal driving Jeers: Reflectors on front fenders Fuel economy of the AWD Model Suzuki going dark on everything Year - 2012 Make – Suzuki Model – Kizashi Trim – Sport GTS Engine – 2.4L Inline-Four Driveline – All Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM - 180 @ 6000 Torque @ RPM – 170 @ 4000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined – 22/29/25 Curb Weight – 3533 lbs Location of Manufacture – Sagara, Japan Base Price - $25,899.00 As Tested Price - $26,404.00* (Doesn’t include Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  16. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 30, 2012 If there was an automaker who closely followed Mitsubishi’s story in the U.S. to a degree, that automaker would be Suzuki. Suzuki, much like Mitsubishi was a rising star in the 1990’s and early 2000’s with vehicles like the Swift, Sidekick, Grand Vitara, XL7, and SX4. However in the late 2000’s, Suzuki began a fast decline into obscurity. Magazine and television ads began to disappear slowly, dealers either closed up shop or turned to something else, and people began to think that Suzuki was gone. Well, Suzuki is still around and building vehicles for the U.S. The brand’s newest vehicle, the Kizashi, is its second-take on a midsize sedan. Suzuki’s first attempt was the 2004 Verona. A rebadged Daewoo Magnus, the Verona was very forgettable and was pulled off the market. Since going on sale in 2010, the Kizashi has received favorable reviews in the automotive press as it is often lauded as one of the best sedans currently on sale. The buying public on the other hand doesn’t even know it exists. Does the Kizashi deserve more attention or should it stay in obscurity just like its brand? Next: The Outside Look Exterior Designers for the Kizashi went for a muscular, bold look. That’s evident when you look at the Kizashi ‘s front end where there is a sculpted hood, two-tiered front grille arrangement, a set of projector headlights, and flared front fenders. The side has a set of body skirts along the doors and a set of eighteen-inch sport wheels, which are standard equipment on the Sport GTS model, which we evaluated. Around the back, Suzuki’s designers did their own interpretation of the “Bangle-Butt” and it has actually worked. Other design cues for the back include an integrated spoiler with stoplight on the trunk lid and a set of chrome surrounds hiding the exhausts. Suzuki mostly pulls off the look on the Kizashi except for one item: ahead of the front wheels, Suzuki slapped on some bright orange reflectors for the turn signals. This addition doesn’t make sense for a vehicle design in the 21st century. Next: Come On In Interior The Kizashi’s interior is really impressive for a Suzuki. That might sound like an underhanded compliment, but anyone who has sat in past Suzuki vehicles knows, the interiors left a lot to desire. Materials used throughout are a combination of soft- and hard-touch plastics, and metal trim. Build quality is very good with no apparent gaps or separation of materials on the 14,000 mile example we had for review. The Sport GTS model comes with set a of bolstered, cloth bucket seats for the front passengers. The driver gets a power seat with ten-way adjustment, lumbar, and memory function. Finding a comfortable position in the seat does take some time, but you can find one. Back seat passengers will find a cloth-covered bench seat and a surprising amount of head and legroom. The Kizashi Sport GTS comes well equipped for the pricetag. Standard equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, trip computer, dual-zone climate controls, Rockford Fosgate sound system, USB input for your MP3 player, sunroof, and 60/40 folding rear seats. The only options on our Kizashi were a trunk mat, floor mats, first aid kit, and a Bluetooth system. Next: Under the Hood Powertrain All Kizashi models come with one engine choice; a 2.4L inline-four producing either 185 HP (@ 6500 RPM) if you go for the six-speed manual or 180 HP (@ 6000 RPM) if you pick the CVT. Torque is 170 lb-ft (@ 4000 RPM), no matter the transmission choice. You also have the choice between front-wheel and all-wheel drive. If you do go for all-wheel drive like ours, you only transmission choice is the CVT. Leaving from a stop, the 2.4L is initially sluggish before it starts to build some speed at a quick rate, as the engine revs up. If you need to make a pass or merge onto a freeway, the 2.4 is able to perform without a sweat. The CVT makes sure to keep you in the power as best as it can and is very smooth. Also, Suzuki fitted steering wheel paddles to the Sport GTS to mimic a six-speed transmission. The paddles do work very well, giving you the feeling of total control when taking the Kizashi for an enthusiastic drive. The Kizashi’s AWD system is unique as you can turn the system on and off via a button next to the steering wheel. The only way you know when you have engaged the system is an AWD light turns on in the instrument cluster. The system will seamlessly kick on if the Kizashi has a loss of traction or if you decide to be aggressive. The sacrifice you make for the sure footedness of all-wheel drive is less than ideal fuel economy rating. The EPA rates the Kizashi Sport GTS AWD EPA at 22 City/29 Highway/25 Combined. This comes from the extra 292 lbs the AWD system adds to the Kizashi’s weight. Average for the week was 24.5 MPG. On the highway, the Kizashi did much better, recording an average of 32.3 MPG. Next: The Drive Ride & Drive The Kizashi’s suspension is made up of MacPherson struts up front and a five-point multilink setup in the rear. Steering comes in the form of an electric power steering system with a rack and pinion setup. The steering feels like something you would find in a sports car. Each turn of the Kizashi’s steering wheel is directly sent to front tires. In turn, the system provides a surprising amount of road feel for the driver. This combination makes the Kizashi a joy to drive on curvy roads. During normal driving, the Kizashi does a good job of proving a mostly comfortable and stable ride for passengers. Driving on rough surfaces, the Kizashi’s suspension does a decent job of minimizing the impacts. Noise from engine is mostly well-muted. The same cannot be said for road and wind noise as both are somewhat existent, but not to the point where you carry some ear plugs. Next: The Verdict Verdict I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel at the time of the Kizashi’s departure, after the week-long evaluation. When that time came, I felt surprised and amazed at Suzuki’s second mid-size effort. The muscular and sporty exterior hides one of the best suspension and all-wheel-drive setups in the class. Plus, the Kizashi has one of the better CVTs in the industry and comes with a nicely-equipped interior. However, the Kizashi isn’t the most fuel-efficient vehicle, despite being one of the smallest and lightest in its class. Plus, the 2.4L is very sluggish on initial acceleration. Those problems pale in comparison to the biggest drawback the Kizashi has, Suzuki itself. As I eluded in the introduction, Suzuki in the U.S. isn’t doing so hot. In a report back in April, we wondered whether the brand was preparing to the North American market leave because of certain developments. Some of those included cutting auto show appearances, saying goodbye to the top U.S. product planning and marketing executive, and suspending social media outreach. Since that report, the news for Suzuki hasn’t got any better. For 2012, sales are still down and the company is focusing on controlling its expenses. Add to the lack advertising and the silence any new products coming to U.S., and it’s easy to see why everyone is wondering what the future holds for Suzuki in the U.S. That leaves me in a tough spot with the Kizashi since I really liked it and would recommend it to anyone. However, the uncertainty of Suzuki in the States gives me some hesitation on recommending it. If you’re shopping for a new midsize sedan, you do at least need to give the Kizashi a chance. Vehicles like the Kizashi only appear once in a while and might be not be long before this disappears. Cheers: Exterior Styling Interior Equipment Interior Space CVT AWD System Handling during sporty and normal driving Jeers: Reflectors on front fenders Fuel economy of the AWD Model Suzuki going dark on everything Year - 2012 Make – Suzuki Model – Kizashi Trim – Sport GTS Engine – 2.4L Inline-Four Driveline – All Wheel Drive, CVT Horsepower @ RPM - 180 @ 6000 Torque @ RPM – 170 @ 4000 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined – 22/29/25 Curb Weight – 3533 lbs Location of Manufacture – Sagara, Japan Base Price - $25,899.00 As Tested Price - $26,404.00* (Doesn’t include Destination Charge) William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  17. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 31, 2012 There are some big rumors coming out at this week’s Moscow Auto Show dealing with the new Mazda6. The first rumor comes to us from Autocar. They had the chance to sit down with Mazda’s chief designer, Akira Tamatani. Tamatani revealed that he would like to do a Mazda6 coupe. "There is no decision, but I would love to make one. The first job is to make the saloon and estate, but from this position a coupe is not so far away." If there is a coupe in the pipeline, we could get our first look sometime next year. Rumor two also comes from Autocar which says Mazda could be adding an AWD system for the new 6. “There are no set plans, but we are studying the possibility of introducing all-wheel drive – it would be a good weapon with which to establish the brand. It is my belief that there is a very strong opportunity for us if we bring it to market,” said Hiroshi Kajiyama, program manager for the 6. The final rumor comes from AutoExpress. Speaking with Hiroshi Kajiyama, it was revealed that the company is looking at a performance version of the 6. “There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand,” Kajiyama said. The performance oriented 6 would likely weigh less than the regular model, come with AWD, and use a turbocharged diesel engine. Source: Autocar, AutoExpress William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  18. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 31, 2012 There are some big rumors coming out at this week’s Moscow Auto Show dealing with the new Mazda6. The first rumor comes to us from Autocar. They had the chance to sit down with Mazda’s chief designer, Akira Tamatani. Tamatani revealed that he would like to do a Mazda6 coupe. "There is no decision, but I would love to make one. The first job is to make the saloon and estate, but from this position a coupe is not so far away." If there is a coupe in the pipeline, we could get our first look sometime next year. Rumor two also comes from Autocar which says Mazda could be adding an AWD system for the new 6. “There are no set plans, but we are studying the possibility of introducing all-wheel drive – it would be a good weapon with which to establish the brand. It is my belief that there is a very strong opportunity for us if we bring it to market,” said Hiroshi Kajiyama, program manager for the 6. The final rumor comes from AutoExpress. Speaking with Hiroshi Kajiyama, it was revealed that the company is looking at a performance version of the 6. “There is a high potential for this, and it would be helpful to the brand,” Kajiyama said. The performance oriented 6 would likely weigh less than the regular model, come with AWD, and use a turbocharged diesel engine. Source: Autocar, AutoExpress William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  19. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 17, 2012 This time at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage is a newcomer, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (takes breath). For $26,404 (the pricetag on the car) 2.4L inline-four, CVT Transmission, AWD, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an appearance package, and a banging 425 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. The Kizashi sits in a interesting position in the new car field. Its size and pricetag puts somewhere between a compact and a mid-size vehicle. Think the last generation Volkswagen Jetta. First impressions are mostly good. The interior is put together well, steering and handling is quite good, and the powertrain combo works well when you get above about 2000 RPMs. I'll have more thoughts as the week with Kizashi goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  20. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 17, 2012 This time at the Cheers & Gears Detroit Garage is a newcomer, the 2012 Suzuki Kizashi Sport GTS AWD (takes breath). For $26,404 (the pricetag on the car) 2.4L inline-four, CVT Transmission, AWD, sunroof, dual-zone climate control, an appearance package, and a banging 425 watt Rockford Fosgate sound system. The Kizashi sits in a interesting position in the new car field. Its size and pricetag puts somewhere between a compact and a mid-size vehicle. Think the last generation Volkswagen Jetta. First impressions are mostly good. The interior is put together well, steering and handling is quite good, and the powertrain combo works well when you get above about 2000 RPMs. I'll have more thoughts as the week with Kizashi goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, post them and I will do my best to answer them. William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  21. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 16, 2012 Last month, we reported on Jaguar's move to a turbocharged-four and supercharged V6 engines for the XF and XJ models. Today, Jaguar officially announced the new engines and a AWD option for the XF and XJ. Starting off with the XF, the 2013 base model will have a 2.0L turbocharged-four from the Range Rover Evoque. The 2.0L is rated at 240 HP and 251 lb-ft of torque. Next up will be the 3.0L supercharged V6 which will take the place of the 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The supercharged 3.0L is rated at 340 HP. The supercharged 5.0L V8 stays on. Next is the XJ which also gets the 3.0L Supercharged V6 in the XJ and long-wheelbase XJL. The 5.0L NA V8 will stay on the long wheelbase XJL Portfolio model. Both engines will come with a eight-speed automatic from ZF. AWD will also be an option on the XF and XJ, but only if you order the 3.0L Supercharged V6. Also available as an option is a stop-start system. Source: Jaguar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
  22. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com August 16, 2012 Last month, we reported on Jaguar's move to a turbocharged-four and supercharged V6 engines for the XF and XJ models. Today, Jaguar officially announced the new engines and a AWD option for the XF and XJ. Starting off with the XF, the 2013 base model will have a 2.0L turbocharged-four from the Range Rover Evoque. The 2.0L is rated at 240 HP and 251 lb-ft of torque. Next up will be the 3.0L supercharged V6 which will take the place of the 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The supercharged 3.0L is rated at 340 HP. The supercharged 5.0L V8 stays on. Next is the XJ which also gets the 3.0L Supercharged V6 in the XJ and long-wheelbase XJL. The 5.0L NA V8 will stay on the long wheelbase XJL Portfolio model. Both engines will come with a eight-speed automatic from ZF. AWD will also be an option on the XF and XJ, but only if you order the 3.0L Supercharged V6. Also available as an option is a stop-start system. Source: Jaguar William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster. View full article
  23. Hello Everyone, I am looking for input from those that might have some inside knowledge on the Chevy Trailblazer AWD SS. I am currently looking at buying a 2008 White AWD SS with only 36K miles, one owner, An Arizona couple that has had it garaged. I know the magazines talk highly about this suv and say check out the brakes, tires, make sure no aftermarket performance mods have been done. CarFax comes back clean with all maintenance done on it, no accidents and confirming the single owner. So the big question, being 4 years old with only 36K miles on it, what else should I look at on this baby. There does not seem to be a whole lot of info on problems or repairs. I am starting to see many of them show up at local dealers with between 50 to 150K miles. The corvette V8 engine seems to have solid reviews as does the power train in general. Motor Trend mentions that these SUV's can eat up the Goodyear RS/A tires and Corvette disc brakes, but does not mention much else. This auto is not fully loaded as it has cloth seats rather than the upgraded leather and it does not have the NAV system, but does have the sun roof. Also I run Mobile 1 on all my other GM auto's. Any reason I should not run it on this bad boy? Thinking of going all synthetic for it. Your thoughts and input is greatly appreciated.

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