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Found 22 results

  1. As much anyone will tell you there is no such thing as too much power, there is a point where power will just overwhelm the tires and you'll be sitting there, doing a burnout. This is why you're seeing more manufacturers adding all-wheel drive to their vehicles to actually get the power down to the wheels. The latest one is Mercedes-AMG. Speaking with Top Gear, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers says the next-generation model will be available with all-wheel drive. The reason comes down to people preferring the current model with the all-wheel drive model. “But we are going to introduce a completely new four-wheel drive system, one which we’ve never had in the company. That’s going to be the biggest step we ever did with a generation. In Germany we had the choice of 4x4 and 4x2, and 90-plus per cent bought the 4x4. People in that segment are looking for four-wheel drive,” said Moers. It should be noted when Mercedes introduced the refreshed E63 for the U.S. in 2014, you could only get it with all-wheel drive. Elsewhere, you had the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Moers also dropped that the next E63 would use the same biturbo V8 as the C63 and AMG GT. For the E63, the engine will get a number of changes including new cylinder heads and a different arrangement of the turbos. The plan is to produce around 600 horsepower. “I’m more focused on the overall package. Maybe not in the past, but we’ve moved to that, to a certain extent. Power should be in line with the overall capabilities of the chassis. It’s more important to have a precise throttle response than all that power. You need a certain level and in that segment, it’s around 600bhp.” It is expected that the E63 will debut this fall at the Paris Motor Show in September. Source: Top Gear
  2. Back in February, we reported that BMW was planning to stay the course with developing rear-wheel drive models. “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Carsten Pries, BMW M's head of product management. Pries also mentioned that this current strategy could change. “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer.” Jump ahead to late April, and BMW's M division CEO Frank van Meel said all-wheel drive is inevitable in the long run. van Meel told Autocar that M is sticking rear-wheel drive for philosophical reasons, despite the power outputs are reaching a point where all-wheel drive would make sense. Engineers are working hard to improve traction, stability control and torque vectoring systems, but there comes a point where these systems will be overwhelmed. van Meel also said that it is getting tougher to try and sell their 600-plus horsepower vehicles in certain markets such as Canada and Switzerland. Whenever M decides to offer all-wheel drive on their sedans and coupes, it will not use the xDrive nomenclature. van Meel suggested a name like 2+2WD or something similar could be used to emphasise the car’s rear-biased set-up. Source: Autocar
  3. I think Volkswagen needs an explanation with the usage of 'concept' with their showing of the Golf SportWagen concept at this week's New York Auto Show. The concept gives us an idea of what Volkswagen has in store for us when it arrives early next year. So why is Volkswgen calling this a concept? Most likely it comes down to the powertrain; a 2.0L TDI four-cylinder paired with a six-speed manual and VW's 4Motion all-wheel system. While the first two parts are common to Volkswagen models in the U.S., the addition of 4Motion to a compact model isn't. While we don't know if 4Motion will be coming as a option, the 2.0L TDI with 150 horsepower will. It will be available with either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch gearbox. The other engine will be VW's 1.8L turbo-four with 170 horsepower and can be paired with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic. We'll have more information when the vehicle makes its official debut this coming week. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 ALL-NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SPORTWAGEN MAKES ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW All-wheel-drive TDI® Clean Diesel concept version of VW's popular SportWagen model previews a bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen - Thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and 1.8-liter turbocharged Golf SportWagen models will be offered - Uses the new MQB modular architecture, like the 2015 Golf and Golf GTI- Golf SportWagen will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 - New SportWagen model is estimated to have fuel economy improvements of up to 17 percent- New Golf SportWagen offers increased cargo volume, matching compact SUVs for size and versatility Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. will debut a concept version of the latest SportWagen model that features a 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system and the new EA288 TD®I Clean Diesel engine at the New York Auto Show. The concept previews the all-new Golf SportWagen that goes on sale in early 2015. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the Golf SportWagen will continue the trend introduced by the seventh generation Golf whereby it is lighter, bigger, roomier, more fuel efficient and more powerful than the outgoing SportWagen model. Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new SportWagen bodyshell is lighter than the current Jetta SportWagen and offers an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has optimized components-such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture -to help save weight. The Golf SportWagen is 1.1 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider than the current SportWagen model. It is also 0.9 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car's proportions: the CdA number has been reduced by almost 10 percent compared with the previous generation. The interior package has been optimized to give more rear-seat leg- and shoulder room. Although the new SportWagen's overall height was lowered by nearly an inch, front and rear headroom has been improved by 0.4 inches. The SportWagen has long been a top choice for customers who want a car that's fun to drive and offers a large cargo area that is truly versatile. This new SportWagen is even more appealing, offering nearly 10 percent more cargo room with the rear seats folded than the outgoing model. Essentially, the Golf SportWagen provides a sportier alternative to compact SUVs. The new SportWagen will be offered with two powertrains. The Golf SportWagen will be powered by a 170 horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, mated to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. These powertrains offer manufacturer highway fuel economy that's improved by as much as 17 percent compared to the 2.5-liter Jetta SportWagen. The TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by the new EA288 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine that makes150 horsepower, an improvement of 10 hp over the current SportWagen model. The TDI model will have a choice of six-speed manual or DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmissions. Design The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new SportWagen, using the principles of Volkswagen's Design DNA. Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedals, the car's proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current SportWagen design. This has created what Bischoff calls "'a cab backward impression'. That's what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the hood is long and the passenger compartment is a long way towards the back." Compared with the previous generation SportWagen, the new car's front end looks completely different, thanks to the way that the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. This new SportWagen features more angular horizontal design cues, with a slender radiator grille. At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical SportWagen features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car. Features Along the lines of the new Golf 7, the SportWagen will bring a number of available new features to market including a panoramic sunroof, 12-way power driver's seat, Climatronic® automatic climate control, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and the Advanced Front-lighting System, Park Distance Control, and available 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. In addition, the new SportWagen features a new standard driver assistance system called the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This system automatically engages the vehicle's brakes after it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce secondary collisions and to help bring the vehicle to a stop. The system is triggered when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision and it is limited to a maximum retardation rate of 0.6g by the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) unit. The driver can effectively override the system at any time; for example, it is disabled if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates braking at a higher rate than 0.6g.
  4. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 7, 2013 Audi has done it since the start of their S and RS lineup; Mercedes-Benz has begun to do it with AMG, and now it appears BMW is thinking about adding it to their M cars again. What am I referring to is the addition of all-wheel drive. Motoring spoke with BMW M's president Friedrich Nitschke who revealed that the next-generation M5 and M6 could come with the option of all-wheel drive. “On our cars we are thinking of all-wheel drive, but it won’t come before we get the successor of the M5 and M6. That’s the timing and it’s not practical to react in the current life cycles. It would also be an additional option, not the only available model, because a lot of M buyers prefer rear-wheel drive," said Nitschke. When asked this question earlier in the year, Nitschke said there was no plans for all-wheel drive models in the M lineup. What changed his tune? “I’ve looked at the numbers and 70 to 80 percent of E63 AMGs are all-wheel drive in the US now.” There is also a performance angle to this as well. A BMW M5 hits 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds. However, the Audi RS7, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (w/AWD), and Porsche Panamera Turbo can do it in 4 seconds. However, don't expect M to go crazy with all-wheel drive in their lineup. “The M5 and M6, maybe in the next generation they could get AWD, but not with the M3 or M4. Never,” said Nitschke. Source: Motoring.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.
  5. The past few years, Cadillac has been on a quest to show they can compete with the Germans. Whether it was introducing new and improved models such as the ATS and CTS, commercials that show one of their vehicles on the ‘green hell', or bringing in people from German automakers to lend their expertise. With all of these changes, how is this working out for the brand? I spent a week in a 2015 ATS4 2.0T Coupe to find out. The ATS Coupe is mostly a carbon copy of the larger, last-generation CTS coupe. The difference is the overall ATS coupe design isn’t quite as sharp as the CTS, a good thing in my book. The ATS coupe follows the basic guidelines for a coupe design; a long front end, lower roofline, and a very short rear end. Little design items such as the vertical headlights and exhaust tips mounted in the middle make the coupe quite the standout. One quibble I have with the ATS Coupe is the new emblem. Cadillac says this is to help bring in younger buyers, but I think it might backfire. I just think there is something missing on it, like a wreath. Moving inside the ATS Coupe, it feels quite snug thanks to the lowered roofline and high beltline. But once you get settled in, it becomes quite comfortable. My tester came with brown leather and piano black trim which I believe adds a nice touch of class. The front seats provided adequate comfort and were able to hold me in place during exuberant driving. There are a number of power adjustments that anyone can find a comfortable position, along with heat to keep you and a passenger warm. The back seat is best left for show as there isn’t enough room for anyone to feel comfortable sitting back here. Infotainment duties are taken care of by Cadillac’s CUE system. Now this system has been maligned for a number of reasons ranging from slowness of the system to crashes. I want to say this system has seen some improvements since the last time I used it, but unfortunately I cannot. The capacitive touch buttons still take a few tries to recognize that they have been touched; performance of the system is still quite sluggish; and I had no maps appear on the navigation system for a few minutes. I’m beginning to wonder if it would be in the best interest for GM to scrap CUE and start over with a new system. Engine, Ride, and Specs on the next page Unlike the ATS sedan, the Coupe is only available with two powertrains. The base is the 2.0L turbocharged four, while the 3.6L DI V6 is an option. My tester came with the 2.0T which produces 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired to a six-speed manual or my tester’s six-speed automatic. The 2.0T fixes one of the biggest problems I had with the ATS sedan I drove almost three years ago. In my review, I said the 3.6 had to be worked to reach all of the power it was capable of. Not so with the 2.0T. With torque arriving between 3000 - 4600 rpm, the 2.0T makes the ATS go like a rocket. Power comes on immediately and quite smoothly. It can almost fool someone into thinking you’re driving a six-cylinder, not a four. The six-speed automatic is smart in its shifts and is quite smooth. Rear-wheel drive comes as standard, but I had the optional all-wheel drive system. This system came in handy during a brief snow fall where the ATS was able to get going through the snow with no problem. Fuel economy for the ATS4 2.0T is rated at 20 City/28 Highway/23 Combined. I got 20.3 MPG during my week. The ATS has been praised for the way it drives around corners - providing something akin to an automobile from Germany. This holds true for the coupe. Equipped with a sports suspension (but not with Magnetic Ride Control, that’s only available on the rear-drive model), the ATS Coupe showed excellent poise. There was no hint of body roll and it felt flat when going through corners. Steering was quick to respond, but I was wishing for a little bit more weight. Maybe Cadillac could do something with adjustable steering with the different drive modes that are available on the ATS. Now the flipside of the sports suspension is a jarring everyday ride. Even with the vehicle set in the tour mode, bumps and potholes are transmitted quite clearly. Now I expect the ride to be a bit worse if you keep the standard 19-inch wheels with the paper thin tire sidewall, but I was lucky to have the optional 18-inch wheels which gained a tiny bit more sidewall and made the ride a little bit more bearable. Road noise is noticeable, but wind noise is kept to a decent level. The ATS Coupe shows all the hard work that Cadillac has been putting in. From the distinctive looks to a punchy turbo-four, the ATS brings a bit of freshness to the luxury coupe class. If you are one of those people who cares about the way a coupe performs, then give the Cadillac ATS a hard look. If you happen to be one of those who cares about looks and wants something a bit more comfortable, then you might want to look at the Germans. Never thought I would say that. Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the ATS4 Coupe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Cadillac Model: ATS4 Trim: Premium 2.0T Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DI VVT Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 272 @ 5500 Torque @ RPM: 295 @ 3000 - 4600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/28/23 Curb Weight: 3,418 lbs Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI Base Price: $48,205 As Tested Price: $51,345 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: Kona Brown with Jet Black Accents - $1,295.00 18-inch Polished Aluminum Wheels - $850.00
  6. Jaguar has decided that the F-Type R Coupe needed some sharper claws. So at the LA Auto Show in a couple of weeks, the British luxury automaker will reveal an all-wheel drive version of the F-Type R Coupe. That means that 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque will now be flowing to all four wheels. Performance figures stand at 3.9 seconds for the run to 60 MPH and limited top speed of 186 MPH. What Jaguar is keeping quiet on is whether or not the all-wheel drive system will be available on the F-Type convertible or Supercharged V6 models. We'll likely learn about that in a couple of weeks. Jaguar also announced a new partnership with the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed record group which will attempt to go 1,000 MPH next year. Part of this partnership will be a F-Type R Coupe AWD being used as a radio/backup vehicle when the group goes for their attempt. "Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions," said Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director for Jaguar. Source: Jaguar 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. Press Release is on Page 2 New All-Wheel-Drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Boosts Bloodhound SSC Record Bid - Jaguar announces major partnership with British World Land Speed Record Team Bloodhound SSC to make World Land Speed Record attempt in 2015 then target 1,000 MPH in 2016 - All-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the Jaguar F-TYPE range - the new F-TYPE range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November 2014 - AWD Jaguar F-TYPE R carries out key communications test on the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa - View the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé in action on the Hakskeen Pan here: www.youtube.com/user/JaguarCarsLimited South Africa, 6 November: Today, the new all-wheel-drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé ensured the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record programme passed a significant high-speed testing milestone. The test marks the start of a major technical partnership between Jaguar and The Bloodhound Project, with the ultimate aim of raising the world land speed record above 1,000mph and to assist in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is the overall objective of the project. The current record stands at 763.035mph and was set by Andy Green in Thrust SSC in 1997. Andy will drive the Bloodhound Supersonic car. On the relatively soft surface of the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa, the stability of the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé and its dynamic ability - it will reach 60mph in just 3.9-seconds with a limited top speed of 186mph - enabled the successful completion of a vital communications test for the Bloodhound SSC team. Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar said:"Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions." The AWD F-TYPE R Coupé was driven flat-out by Bloodhound Project Director and former World Land Speed Record holder, Richard Noble who said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce Jaguar as a Main Partner to the Bloodhound Project. This is a very fine match - Jaguar is very strong on innovation and with its huge drive in advanced technology, education and motorsport track record, we have the perfect partner. Together we have developed outstanding inter-team synergy and this is a very special relationship. We are proud to carry the Jaguar branding on Bloodhound SSC." Fitted with the same radio equipment as the jet and rocket powered Bloodhound SSC, the F-TYPE was driven head-to-head at top speed with a similarly equipped jet flown at 500mph and just 50 feet above the ground. The combined closing speed of almost 700mph enabled the successful test of the system that will allow communications between the ground crew and Andy Green in Bloodhound SSC, which will run for the first time on the Hakskeen desert just twelve months from now. The addition of all-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the award-winning Jaguar F-TYPE range which will grow from six to 14 derivatives in 2015 - the full range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November. The Jaguar Land Rover press conference will take place at 14:40 PST (22:40 GMT). Also at the press conference will be Andy Green, who will confirm the full extent of the technical collaboration between Jaguar and the Bloodhound Project.
  7. Its no secret that Acura has been struggling in the auto marketplace. Aside from the bright spots of the MDX and RDX, the brand has been seeing year-over-year sales drop. But the brand could have a idea that might reverse that. Automotive News recently spoke with Koichi Fukuo, Honda's senior managing director for Acura says the brand is looking into whether or not they should follow in the footsteps of Subaru and equip all of their vehicles with all-wheel drive. "The key is awd," said Fukuo, "As a premium brand, we need something different from the competition." Currently, Acura offers all-wheel drive in half of its lineup and the company is in the process of introducing a new all-wheel drive system that debuted in the new TLX sedan this year. But this change to an all-wheel drive exclusive lineup could take awhile. Also, Automotive News points out that this change might not help Acura at all. 90 percent of Audi's lineup came with all-wheel drive, while nearly 60 percent of BMW's lineup was equipped with all-wheel drive. Now this plan is currently only being talked about at this time. Fukuo presented this plan to the board last week. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 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.
  8. Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced some big changes for the Model S. The first change is the introduction of all-wheel drive to the Model S lineup, which means the addition of a second electric motor up front. The system dubbed Dual Motor All Wheel Drive works out like this for their lineup, 60D and 85D - Front & Rear Motor: 188 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque; Combined: 376 horsepower and 326 torque. P85D - Front Motor: 221 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque; Rear Motor: 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque; Combined: 691 horsepower and 687 pound-feet of torque. The P85D will take the place of the P85+ as the Model S flagship with a 0-60 MPH time of 3.2 seconds (0.7 seconds faster than the P85+) and a top speed of 155 MPH. On the range front, the 60D sees a 17 mile increase (208 to 225 miles); the 80D gets a 10 mile increase (265 to 275 miles); and the P85D takes 10 mile hit (285 to 275 miles). Pricing for the all-wheel drive models is as followed, 60D: $75,070 85D: $85,070 P85D: $120,170 Also being announced was Tesla's Autopilot system. The system utilizes a forward-looking camera, a radar sensor, and ultrasonic sensors to give the Model S a 360-degree view of the surrounding road. At the current time, the system will be able to read speed limit and stay at that speed if the driver allows it. The system will also automate lane changes and park itself. Tesla says there will be more features coming to the Autopilot system in the future. Source: Tesla, Motor Trend, Carscoops, Automobile Magazine 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. The past few years have seen a number of rumors about the next-generation Ford Focus RS and if it will come to the U.S. or not. A new report from Road & Track says the Focus RS is coming, with a big change for the U.S. According to a source, Ford is planning to send a limited number of the next Focus RS to the U.S. The next RS will come equipped with a 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder. The source says power figures are still be determined, but Road & Track speculates that the RS could be packing 310 to 350 horsepower. As for what wheels all of that power will go to, another source says that it will utilize a new all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring to improve handling. Source: Road & Track 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.
  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. As much anyone will tell you there is no such thing as too much power, there is a point where power will just overwhelm the tires and you'll be sitting there, doing a burnout. This is why you're seeing more manufacturers adding all-wheel drive to their vehicles to actually get the power down to the wheels. The latest one is Mercedes-AMG. Speaking with Top Gear, Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers says the next-generation model will be available with all-wheel drive. The reason comes down to people preferring the current model with the all-wheel drive model. “But we are going to introduce a completely new four-wheel drive system, one which we’ve never had in the company. That’s going to be the biggest step we ever did with a generation. In Germany we had the choice of 4x4 and 4x2, and 90-plus per cent bought the 4x4. People in that segment are looking for four-wheel drive,” said Moers. It should be noted when Mercedes introduced the refreshed E63 for the U.S. in 2014, you could only get it with all-wheel drive. Elsewhere, you had the choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Moers also dropped that the next E63 would use the same biturbo V8 as the C63 and AMG GT. For the E63, the engine will get a number of changes including new cylinder heads and a different arrangement of the turbos. The plan is to produce around 600 horsepower. “I’m more focused on the overall package. Maybe not in the past, but we’ve moved to that, to a certain extent. Power should be in line with the overall capabilities of the chassis. It’s more important to have a precise throttle response than all that power. You need a certain level and in that segment, it’s around 600bhp.” It is expected that the E63 will debut this fall at the Paris Motor Show in September. Source: Top Gear View full article
  13. Back in February, we reported that BMW was planning to stay the course with developing rear-wheel drive models. “If you also look at the M performance models we have added over the last three or four years they have rear-wheel drive as the standard setting and also have six cylinder engines. These are cars that attract new people to the M brand [and its core models] and that is very important,” said Carsten Pries, BMW M's head of product management. Pries also mentioned that this current strategy could change. “If the framework changes in the future, we have to look then at what we can do in terms of a [providing] a proper or decent M offer.” Jump ahead to late April, and BMW's M division CEO Frank van Meel said all-wheel drive is inevitable in the long run. van Meel told Autocar that M is sticking rear-wheel drive for philosophical reasons, despite the power outputs are reaching a point where all-wheel drive would make sense. Engineers are working hard to improve traction, stability control and torque vectoring systems, but there comes a point where these systems will be overwhelmed. van Meel also said that it is getting tougher to try and sell their 600-plus horsepower vehicles in certain markets such as Canada and Switzerland. Whenever M decides to offer all-wheel drive on their sedans and coupes, it will not use the xDrive nomenclature. van Meel suggested a name like 2+2WD or something similar could be used to emphasise the car’s rear-biased set-up. Source: Autocar View full article
  14. William Maley Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com October 7, 2013 Audi has done it since the start of their S and RS lineup; Mercedes-Benz has begun to do it with AMG, and now it appears BMW is thinking about adding it to their M cars again. What am I referring to is the addition of all-wheel drive. Motoring spoke with BMW M's president Friedrich Nitschke who revealed that the next-generation M5 and M6 could come with the option of all-wheel drive. “On our cars we are thinking of all-wheel drive, but it won’t come before we get the successor of the M5 and M6. That’s the timing and it’s not practical to react in the current life cycles. It would also be an additional option, not the only available model, because a lot of M buyers prefer rear-wheel drive," said Nitschke. When asked this question earlier in the year, Nitschke said there was no plans for all-wheel drive models in the M lineup. What changed his tune? “I’ve looked at the numbers and 70 to 80 percent of E63 AMGs are all-wheel drive in the US now.” There is also a performance angle to this as well. A BMW M5 hits 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds. However, the Audi RS7, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG (w/AWD), and Porsche Panamera Turbo can do it in 4 seconds. However, don't expect M to go crazy with all-wheel drive in their lineup. “The M5 and M6, maybe in the next generation they could get AWD, but not with the M3 or M4. Never,” said Nitschke. Source: Motoring.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
  15. The past few years, Cadillac has been on a quest to show they can compete with the Germans. Whether it was introducing new and improved models such as the ATS and CTS, commercials that show one of their vehicles on the ‘green hell', or bringing in people from German automakers to lend their expertise. With all of these changes, how is this working out for the brand? I spent a week in a 2015 ATS4 2.0T Coupe to find out. The ATS Coupe is mostly a carbon copy of the larger, last-generation CTS coupe. The difference is the overall ATS coupe design isn’t quite as sharp as the CTS, a good thing in my book. The ATS coupe follows the basic guidelines for a coupe design; a long front end, lower roofline, and a very short rear end. Little design items such as the vertical headlights and exhaust tips mounted in the middle make the coupe quite the standout. One quibble I have with the ATS Coupe is the new emblem. Cadillac says this is to help bring in younger buyers, but I think it might backfire. I just think there is something missing on it, like a wreath. Moving inside the ATS Coupe, it feels quite snug thanks to the lowered roofline and high beltline. But once you get settled in, it becomes quite comfortable. My tester came with brown leather and piano black trim which I believe adds a nice touch of class. The front seats provided adequate comfort and were able to hold me in place during exuberant driving. There are a number of power adjustments that anyone can find a comfortable position, along with heat to keep you and a passenger warm. The back seat is best left for show as there isn’t enough room for anyone to feel comfortable sitting back here. Infotainment duties are taken care of by Cadillac’s CUE system. Now this system has been maligned for a number of reasons ranging from slowness of the system to crashes. I want to say this system has seen some improvements since the last time I used it, but unfortunately I cannot. The capacitive touch buttons still take a few tries to recognize that they have been touched; performance of the system is still quite sluggish; and I had no maps appear on the navigation system for a few minutes. I’m beginning to wonder if it would be in the best interest for GM to scrap CUE and start over with a new system. Engine, Ride, and Specs on the next page Unlike the ATS sedan, the Coupe is only available with two powertrains. The base is the 2.0L turbocharged four, while the 3.6L DI V6 is an option. My tester came with the 2.0T which produces 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This can be paired to a six-speed manual or my tester’s six-speed automatic. The 2.0T fixes one of the biggest problems I had with the ATS sedan I drove almost three years ago. In my review, I said the 3.6 had to be worked to reach all of the power it was capable of. Not so with the 2.0T. With torque arriving between 3000 - 4600 rpm, the 2.0T makes the ATS go like a rocket. Power comes on immediately and quite smoothly. It can almost fool someone into thinking you’re driving a six-cylinder, not a four. The six-speed automatic is smart in its shifts and is quite smooth. Rear-wheel drive comes as standard, but I had the optional all-wheel drive system. This system came in handy during a brief snow fall where the ATS was able to get going through the snow with no problem. Fuel economy for the ATS4 2.0T is rated at 20 City/28 Highway/23 Combined. I got 20.3 MPG during my week. The ATS has been praised for the way it drives around corners - providing something akin to an automobile from Germany. This holds true for the coupe. Equipped with a sports suspension (but not with Magnetic Ride Control, that’s only available on the rear-drive model), the ATS Coupe showed excellent poise. There was no hint of body roll and it felt flat when going through corners. Steering was quick to respond, but I was wishing for a little bit more weight. Maybe Cadillac could do something with adjustable steering with the different drive modes that are available on the ATS. Now the flipside of the sports suspension is a jarring everyday ride. Even with the vehicle set in the tour mode, bumps and potholes are transmitted quite clearly. Now I expect the ride to be a bit worse if you keep the standard 19-inch wheels with the paper thin tire sidewall, but I was lucky to have the optional 18-inch wheels which gained a tiny bit more sidewall and made the ride a little bit more bearable. Road noise is noticeable, but wind noise is kept to a decent level. The ATS Coupe shows all the hard work that Cadillac has been putting in. From the distinctive looks to a punchy turbo-four, the ATS brings a bit of freshness to the luxury coupe class. If you are one of those people who cares about the way a coupe performs, then give the Cadillac ATS a hard look. If you happen to be one of those who cares about looks and wants something a bit more comfortable, then you might want to look at the Germans. Never thought I would say that. Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the ATS4 Coupe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas Year: 2015 Make: Cadillac Model: ATS4 Trim: Premium 2.0T Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DI VVT Four-Cylinder Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive Horsepower @ RPM: 272 @ 5500 Torque @ RPM: 295 @ 3000 - 4600 Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 20/28/23 Curb Weight: 3,418 lbs Location of Manufacture: Lansing, MI Base Price: $48,205 As Tested Price: $51,345 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge) Options: Kona Brown with Jet Black Accents - $1,295.00 18-inch Polished Aluminum Wheels - $850.00 View full article
  16. The past few years have seen a number of rumors about the next-generation Ford Focus RS and if it will come to the U.S. or not. A new report from Road & Track says the Focus RS is coming, with a big change for the U.S. According to a source, Ford is planning to send a limited number of the next Focus RS to the U.S. The next RS will come equipped with a 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder. The source says power figures are still be determined, but Road & Track speculates that the RS could be packing 310 to 350 horsepower. As for what wheels all of that power will go to, another source says that it will utilize a new all-wheel drive system with torque vectoring to improve handling. Source: Road & Track 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. I think Volkswagen needs an explanation with the usage of 'concept' with their showing of the Golf SportWagen concept at this week's New York Auto Show. The concept gives us an idea of what Volkswagen has in store for us when it arrives early next year. So why is Volkswgen calling this a concept? Most likely it comes down to the powertrain; a 2.0L TDI four-cylinder paired with a six-speed manual and VW's 4Motion all-wheel system. While the first two parts are common to Volkswagen models in the U.S., the addition of 4Motion to a compact model isn't. While we don't know if 4Motion will be coming as a option, the 2.0L TDI with 150 horsepower will. It will be available with either a six-speed manual or dual-clutch gearbox. The other engine will be VW's 1.8L turbo-four with 170 horsepower and can be paired with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic. We'll have more information when the vehicle makes its official debut this coming week. Source: Volkswagen Press Release is on Page 2 ALL-NEW VOLKSWAGEN GOLF SPORTWAGEN MAKES ITS NORTH AMERICAN DEBUT AT THE NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW All-wheel-drive TDI® Clean Diesel concept version of VW's popular SportWagen model previews a bigger, more spacious, and more fuel-efficient replacement for the Jetta SportWagen - Thrifty TDI® Clean Diesel, and 1.8-liter turbocharged Golf SportWagen models will be offered - Uses the new MQB modular architecture, like the 2015 Golf and Golf GTI- Golf SportWagen will go on sale in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2015 - New SportWagen model is estimated to have fuel economy improvements of up to 17 percent- New Golf SportWagen offers increased cargo volume, matching compact SUVs for size and versatility Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. will debut a concept version of the latest SportWagen model that features a 4MOTION® all-wheel drive system and the new EA288 TD®I Clean Diesel engine at the New York Auto Show. The concept previews the all-new Golf SportWagen that goes on sale in early 2015. Based on the new MQB (modular transverse matrix) architecture, the Golf SportWagen will continue the trend introduced by the seventh generation Golf whereby it is lighter, bigger, roomier, more fuel efficient and more powerful than the outgoing SportWagen model. Thanks to the extensive use of high- and ultra-high strength steels, the new SportWagen bodyshell is lighter than the current Jetta SportWagen and offers an enhanced crash structure. Throughout the car, incredible attention to detail has optimized components-such as the seats, air conditioning unit, and even the electrical architecture -to help save weight. The Golf SportWagen is 1.1 inches longer and 0.7 inches wider than the current SportWagen model. It is also 0.9 inches lower, which benefits both aerodynamic performance and the car's proportions: the CdA number has been reduced by almost 10 percent compared with the previous generation. The interior package has been optimized to give more rear-seat leg- and shoulder room. Although the new SportWagen's overall height was lowered by nearly an inch, front and rear headroom has been improved by 0.4 inches. The SportWagen has long been a top choice for customers who want a car that's fun to drive and offers a large cargo area that is truly versatile. This new SportWagen is even more appealing, offering nearly 10 percent more cargo room with the rear seats folded than the outgoing model. Essentially, the Golf SportWagen provides a sportier alternative to compact SUVs. The new SportWagen will be offered with two powertrains. The Golf SportWagen will be powered by a 170 horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged and direct-injection four-cylinder TSI® engine, mated to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. These powertrains offer manufacturer highway fuel economy that's improved by as much as 17 percent compared to the 2.5-liter Jetta SportWagen. The TDI Clean Diesel model will be powered by the new EA288 2.0-liter common-rail, turbocharged and direct-injection diesel engine that makes150 horsepower, an improvement of 10 hp over the current SportWagen model. The TDI model will have a choice of six-speed manual or DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmissions. Design The design team, led by Walter de Silva (Group Design) and Klaus Bischoff (VW Brand Design), created a timeless and sophisticated new SportWagen, using the principles of Volkswagen's Design DNA. Thanks to the MQB architecture, which dictates a fixed relationship between the front wheel centerline and the pedals, the car's proportions have changed. The front wheels, for example, are now 1.7 inches further forward than on the current SportWagen design. This has created what Bischoff calls "'a cab backward impression'. That's what we call the proportions of premium-class vehicles, where the hood is long and the passenger compartment is a long way towards the back." Compared with the previous generation SportWagen, the new car's front end looks completely different, thanks to the way that the hood slopes down into the front fenders instead of the fender peaks being higher than the hood. This new SportWagen features more angular horizontal design cues, with a slender radiator grille. At the back, the clean surface around the VW badge, the wide rear window, and the geometric taillights are typical SportWagen features, even though the lines are completely different. The tailgate, for instance, allows for a lower load height than before, while the overall effect emphasizes the additional width of the new car. Features Along the lines of the new Golf 7, the SportWagen will bring a number of available new features to market including a panoramic sunroof, 12-way power driver's seat, Climatronic® automatic climate control, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs and the Advanced Front-lighting System, Park Distance Control, and available 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. In addition, the new SportWagen features a new standard driver assistance system called the Automatic Post-Collision Braking System. This system automatically engages the vehicle's brakes after it is involved in a collision in order to help reduce secondary collisions and to help bring the vehicle to a stop. The system is triggered when the airbag sensors detect a primary collision and it is limited to a maximum retardation rate of 0.6g by the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) unit. The driver can effectively override the system at any time; for example, it is disabled if it recognizes that the driver is accelerating. The system is also deactivated if the driver initiates braking at a higher rate than 0.6g. View full article
  18. Jaguar has decided that the F-Type R Coupe needed some sharper claws. So at the LA Auto Show in a couple of weeks, the British luxury automaker will reveal an all-wheel drive version of the F-Type R Coupe. That means that 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque will now be flowing to all four wheels. Performance figures stand at 3.9 seconds for the run to 60 MPH and limited top speed of 186 MPH. What Jaguar is keeping quiet on is whether or not the all-wheel drive system will be available on the F-Type convertible or Supercharged V6 models. We'll likely learn about that in a couple of weeks. Jaguar also announced a new partnership with the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed record group which will attempt to go 1,000 MPH next year. Part of this partnership will be a F-Type R Coupe AWD being used as a radio/backup vehicle when the group goes for their attempt. "Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions," said Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director for Jaguar. Source: Jaguar 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. Press Release is on Page 2 New All-Wheel-Drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Boosts Bloodhound SSC Record Bid - Jaguar announces major partnership with British World Land Speed Record Team Bloodhound SSC to make World Land Speed Record attempt in 2015 then target 1,000 MPH in 2016 - All-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the Jaguar F-TYPE range - the new F-TYPE range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November 2014 - AWD Jaguar F-TYPE R carries out key communications test on the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape, South Africa - View the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé in action on the Hakskeen Pan here: www.youtube.com/user/JaguarCarsLimited South Africa, 6 November: Today, the new all-wheel-drive Jaguar F-TYPE R Coupé ensured the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record programme passed a significant high-speed testing milestone. The test marks the start of a major technical partnership between Jaguar and The Bloodhound Project, with the ultimate aim of raising the world land speed record above 1,000mph and to assist in inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers, which is the overall objective of the project. The current record stands at 763.035mph and was set by Andy Green in Thrust SSC in 1997. Andy will drive the Bloodhound Supersonic car. On the relatively soft surface of the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern Cape of South Africa, the stability of the AWD F-TYPE R Coupé and its dynamic ability - it will reach 60mph in just 3.9-seconds with a limited top speed of 186mph - enabled the successful completion of a vital communications test for the Bloodhound SSC team. Ian Hoban, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar said:"Our target with engineering the all-wheel drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that's so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability. The result is a controllable, exploitable and blisteringly fast performance car in all weather and road conditions." The AWD F-TYPE R Coupé was driven flat-out by Bloodhound Project Director and former World Land Speed Record holder, Richard Noble who said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce Jaguar as a Main Partner to the Bloodhound Project. This is a very fine match - Jaguar is very strong on innovation and with its huge drive in advanced technology, education and motorsport track record, we have the perfect partner. Together we have developed outstanding inter-team synergy and this is a very special relationship. We are proud to carry the Jaguar branding on Bloodhound SSC." Fitted with the same radio equipment as the jet and rocket powered Bloodhound SSC, the F-TYPE was driven head-to-head at top speed with a similarly equipped jet flown at 500mph and just 50 feet above the ground. The combined closing speed of almost 700mph enabled the successful test of the system that will allow communications between the ground crew and Andy Green in Bloodhound SSC, which will run for the first time on the Hakskeen desert just twelve months from now. The addition of all-wheel-drive is one of a number of performance enhancements to the award-winning Jaguar F-TYPE range which will grow from six to 14 derivatives in 2015 - the full range will debut at the LA Auto Show on 19 November. The Jaguar Land Rover press conference will take place at 14:40 PST (22:40 GMT). Also at the press conference will be Andy Green, who will confirm the full extent of the technical collaboration between Jaguar and the Bloodhound Project. View full article
  19. Its no secret that Acura has been struggling in the auto marketplace. Aside from the bright spots of the MDX and RDX, the brand has been seeing year-over-year sales drop. But the brand could have a idea that might reverse that. Automotive News recently spoke with Koichi Fukuo, Honda's senior managing director for Acura says the brand is looking into whether or not they should follow in the footsteps of Subaru and equip all of their vehicles with all-wheel drive. "The key is awd," said Fukuo, "As a premium brand, we need something different from the competition." Currently, Acura offers all-wheel drive in half of its lineup and the company is in the process of introducing a new all-wheel drive system that debuted in the new TLX sedan this year. But this change to an all-wheel drive exclusive lineup could take awhile. Also, Automotive News points out that this change might not help Acura at all. 90 percent of Audi's lineup came with all-wheel drive, while nearly 60 percent of BMW's lineup was equipped with all-wheel drive. Now this plan is currently only being talked about at this time. Fukuo presented this plan to the board last week. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) 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. Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced some big changes for the Model S. The first change is the introduction of all-wheel drive to the Model S lineup, which means the addition of a second electric motor up front. The system dubbed Dual Motor All Wheel Drive works out like this for their lineup, 60D and 85D - Front & Rear Motor: 188 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque; Combined: 376 horsepower and 326 torque. P85D - Front Motor: 221 horsepower and 244 pound-feet of torque; Rear Motor: 470 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque; Combined: 691 horsepower and 687 pound-feet of torque. The P85D will take the place of the P85+ as the Model S flagship with a 0-60 MPH time of 3.2 seconds (0.7 seconds faster than the P85+) and a top speed of 155 MPH. On the range front, the 60D sees a 17 mile increase (208 to 225 miles); the 80D gets a 10 mile increase (265 to 275 miles); and the P85D takes 10 mile hit (285 to 275 miles). Pricing for the all-wheel drive models is as followed, 60D: $75,070 85D: $85,070 P85D: $120,170 Also being announced was Tesla's Autopilot system. The system utilizes a forward-looking camera, a radar sensor, and ultrasonic sensors to give the Model S a 360-degree view of the surrounding road. At the current time, the system will be able to read speed limit and stay at that speed if the driver allows it. The system will also automate lane changes and park itself. Tesla says there will be more features coming to the Autopilot system in the future. Source: Tesla, Motor Trend, Carscoops, Automobile Magazine 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
  21. 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
  22. 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

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