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Posts Tagged ‘2016’

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Mazda6

January 19th, 2015 No comments

In our opinion, the Mazda6 needed no updates to stay competitive in the midsize sedan segment, but Mazda isn’t satisfied with simply remaining competitive; it wants to leave no doubt that it’s the driver’s choice in whatever segment it competes. As a result, the 6 will enter the 2016 model year with a host of refinements to interior and exterior design, as well as upgrading to the company’s latest infotainment system. That’s the same system that we’ve praised in our experience with the smaller Mazda3. Coupled with reductions in NVH and continuing to earn a 40mpg highway EPA rating, the 6 shooter looks poised to remain our default recommendation in the family sedan segment.

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2015 NAIAS: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata

January 17th, 2015 No comments

Mazda didn’t debut anything at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, but that doesn’t mean there was nothing to see at the Mazda stand. We couldn’t wait to spend some time snooping around the upcoming 2016 MX-5 Miata. It’s dimensions feel like they are tidier than ever with a truly small scale making it feel almost comical when standing next to it. But sink into that simply bolstered seat, tile the wheel into adjustment and you can imagine the backroads unwinding in front of the impossibly low hood on a beautiful summer morning. It’s 2.0-liter four cylinder still doesn’t have final power figures but it’ll be enough to push this lightweight package around with haste. Just how lightweight is something else we don’t yet know. Keep checking Automotive Trends for our full review as soon as we can get our hands on one later this summer.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe

January 16th, 2015 No comments

Mercedes isn’t content to let one automaker suck up all the consumers clamoring for a crossover utility that thinks it’s a four-door coupe (we’re looking at you BMW X6 ). So today they took the wraps off a new addition to their rapidly expanding lineup of utilities with the GLE Coupe. Available in regular GLE 450 guise with a twin-turbo 3-liter V6 at its heart or 577-hp extra speedy GLE 63 AMG strength, the new high-style crossover will get down the highway just fine. Both models utilize standard 4Matic all-wheel drive and 7-speed automatic. We didn’t think there was much of a market for crossovers with limited people and cargo hauling abilities (RIP Acura ZDX) but Mercedes has produced a solid looker with massive 22″ wheels pushed out to all four corners and a full range of interior luxuries to help convince people to part with their money.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Lexus GS F

January 15th, 2015 No comments

 

Lexus continues its pursuit of perfection by rounding out the GS sport sedan’s lineup with the GS F. The GS F goes beyond the sporty GS F SPORT by offering 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque from its 5.0-liter V8. The GS’s spindle grille becomes massively oversized on the F model and is flanked by gaping intakes in the corners of the lower fascia. Once upon a time the entire Lexus lineup was accused of being bland and anonymous. Love or hate the GS F’s looks, it can not be accused of subtlety. Gears are shifted via an eight-speed automatic with manual-shifting capabilities. To further perfect the driving experience the GS F features a Torque Vectoring Differential (TVD) that is also shared with the Lexus RC F. The TVD strives to enhance the car’s agility and steering responsiveness. While the GS F isn’t quite the full fledged super sedan that rival Cadillac revealed across Cobo Hall, this may be the type of precision performance sedan that will keep Lexus loyalists in the fold.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Buick Cascada

January 15th, 2015 No comments

 

Were you disappointed upon hearing the news that Chrysler has axed the 200 convertible? Did you grieve over the G6 retractable hard top when GM pulled Pontiac off of life support? Do you spend nights pondering what drove Toyota to wipe the Solara from their product plans? Well, then we have great news for you. Buick is filling the void in the front wheel drive four seat convertible market by shipping an Opel ever so slightly modified for the US market. Buick is calling this car Cascada, which apparently is Spanish for “waterfall.” It doesn’t take a sharp eye to see that Buick’s Cascada doesn’t even feature the traditional Buick waterfall grille or signature ventiports. The 2016 Cascada uses a cloth top rather than a bulky retractable hard top.  The narrow rear seat necessitated by the folding top means this Buick features 2+2 seating. If you must know what powers this convertible, it probably means you should be looking at a Mustang or Camaro. For those who must know, Buick only reveals that the Cascada is propelled by a 1.6-liter 200 horsepower turbocharged engine, which one would assume is a four cylinder. No word on acceleration, but apparently the Cascada can shield its occupants from the weather in 17 seconds flat with an electro-hydraulic power roof. Pricing hasn’t yet been disclosed, but we can expect Cascadas to begin flowing into Buick dealers this spring.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V

January 13th, 2015 No comments

 

It’s been several weeks since Cadillac released official photos of the CTS-V, and we’ve had high expectations for the latest member of the V-series family since we drove the 2014 CTS Vsport. That car was so comprehensively good that we wondered just what Cadillac had up it sleeve (or shall we say under its hood?) for the full fledged performance version of its rear wheel drive performance sedan. While the Vsport churns out 420 hp from its twin turbo V6, the CTS-V blasts its way into the passing lane with 640 horsepower and 630 lb.-ft. of torque produced by its 6.2-liter supercharged V8. Cadillac was quick to point out that the CTS-V has more power and torque than the Mercedes-Benz 5.5-liter biturbo V8 and the BMW M-series 4.4-liter TwinPower V-8. Cadillac no longer offers a manual transmission on the CTS-V since Cadillac hopes to pick up the row-your-own gear types with the smaller ATS-V. Stomp on the gas pedal and let the transmission shift through all eight speeds and you will eventually arrive at 200 mph. For the more daily occurrence 0-60 is achieved in a scant 3.7 seconds. Anyone who thinks that Cadillac only builds cars for folks who drive 55 mph in the left lane with the blinker on had better rethink their stereotypes.

2015 NAIAS: 2016 Ram Rebel

January 13th, 2015 No comments

Ever since splitting off from Dodge in 2009, the Ram team has been working hard to establish itself as a stand alone brand. The new Ram Rebel furthers that cause. There is no mistaking this truck for anything but a Ram with its enormous lettering on the tailgate that reminisces of the days when pickup trucks had their brand names stamped into their tailgates. The grille ditches the long standing Dodge and Ram crosshair grille with a turned lower lip that looks oddly similar to a 1955 GMC truck (trust us, the similarity is uncanny). It may borrow its looks from an old GMC truck, but the Rebel borrows its names from a couple of old AMC products. Don’t be fooled by its overtly off road appearance; Ram isn’t attempting to go head-to-head with Ford’s ambitious Raptor. In fact the Rebel is available in 4×2 or 4x4 configurations. The Rebel utilizes FCA’s naturally aspirated 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, with air suspension, 33-in tires, factory lift kit, skid plates and tow hooks as standard. Since the Rebel borrows the Ram Power Wagon’s wheel arches it becomes apparent that this pickup is not meant to be a fully unique product, but rather one that offers a series of features in a tidy off-road package. Offered only as a crew cab model with the 5-ft. 7-inch bed, the Rebel gives one the choice of ugrading from the V6 to a 5.7-liter HEMI. Though much is borrowed on the Rebel, it seems there is a cause for this truck: off-road style.

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2015 NAIAS: 2016 Audi Q7

January 13th, 2015 No comments

 

For a number of years automakers have offered crossovers to those who dislike the stigma of a minivan and don’t need the bulk of a cumbersome truck based SUV. As more and more so-called crossovers have proliferated the market these 3-row family vehicles continue to morph. The latest Q7 from Audi seems to take a full stride from SUV towards car-based station wagon. Indeed, the roofline and beltline both appear to have lowered significantly compared to the original Q7, as has the front fascia.  Audi claims that the overall height of the vehicle has been reduced while the length has been increased. In stark contrast to its old-school family truckster proportions, the Q7 is motivated by a thoroughly modern body and powertrain.  The Q7 sheds the equivalent mass of three to four teenagers; a whopping 716 pounds has been removed from the curb weight.  The Audi offers a pair of 3.0-liter gas and diesel engines. The supercharged gas engine produces 333 horsepower while the diesel achieves a respectable 272 horsepower rating. Audi continues to stuff plenty of technology into its vehicles, and the Q7 appears to be no exception. Audi’s MMI infotainment system returns with haptic feed back and updated functions to make searching and inputting simpler and more intuitive. The rear seat passengers have access to the Audi tablet, which is connected to the MMI navigation, radio, media and car functions. It appears that Audi’s updated Q7 may give rear seat passengers even less reason to plead for the answer to ‘are we there yet?’

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2015 NAIAS: 2016 Acura NSX

January 12th, 2015 No comments

It’s been a long time coming, but the Acura NSX finally left the concept world behind and became a real deal production car at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. It doesn’t happen often, but we think the final product actually looks better than all the show cars that came before. Bathed in deep red paint the NSX looks impossibly low, dramatic and futuristic with beautiful wheels at the far corners and floating C-pillars to cap it off. The mid-engine V6 is turbocharged for more than 550 hp and combines with electric motors to drive all four wheels for precise handling. Acura left the interior relatively traditional with only colorful leather work and a red starter button to set it off. Acura is leaving a lot of details unannounced until closer to the NSX’s launch later this year but we’re glad to finally know it’s a looker and a welcome return to a sports car atop the brand’s lineup.

2015 NAIAS: 2017 Ford Raptor

January 12th, 2015 No comments

Ford Performance saw a golden opportunity with the introduction of the aluminum bodied F-150. If the outgoing Raptor was a good thing, certainly a 500 lb. lighter model would be an irresistible follow up. Emblazoned with its trademark F-O-R-D lettering spanning the width of the grille, flared fenders and curious running lights in the grille, this Raptor looks poised to continue to win the praise of the off-roading crowd. The 2016 Raptor is powered by an all-new high output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that Ford claims will better the current 6.2-liter V8’s 411 horsepower and 434 lb. ft. of torque while burning less fuel. All this power is transferred via an all-new 10 speed automatic transmission which can be manually shifted using paddles. Featuring FOX Racing Shox and increased suspension travel, Ford assures that the Raptor is ready to combat the toughest terrain.  The flared body panels are a full six inches wider than the standard F-150. No fewer than six drive modes are selectable for driving on all sorts of terrain including normal, street, weather, mud, baja and rock. For those who want a truck that can do more than simply shuttle lumber home from the hardware store, the Raptor looks to continue to please. Unfortunately, you’ll be waiting until the fall of 2016 to drive one home.

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