Posts Tagged ‘V6’

2016 NAIAS: 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

January 11th, 2016 No comments


The Alfa Romeo Giulia is a sight to behold. In full Quadrifoglio hot-rod trim it is pent up anger from every direction as if it’s been impatiently scolded to sit still when all it wants to do is go outside and bounce off the walls, or track curbing in this case. The sedan is a tight package with tidy overhangs and sexy wheels hiding massive carbon ceramic brakes. The hood hides a highly tuned 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 spitting out 505 hp and a plateau of 443 lb-ft of torque starting at 2,500 rpm. The 6-speed manual–yes, you read that right–is standard equipment and 60 mph is history in 3.8 seconds. This car is serious. So serious that it set the production sedan track record at the Nurburgring with a 7:39. Top speed is 191 mph. Inside a set of serious bucket seats do their best to hold you in place and alcantara trim on the wheel and seats is a nice touch. With a near 50/50 weight balance that Giulia should be a responsive handler. It doesn’t go on sale until later this year but it should prove that after the 8C and 4C sports cars, Alfa remains serious about performance in America.

Video Review: 2014 Toyota Highlander Limited Platinum

January 11th, 2015 No comments

Toyota wants to move the latest Highlander onto more buyers’ radar and they’re doing that by toughening up the style to attract more men and refining the family friendly features to keep it’s female fan base from straying to the competition. We like what they’ve done inside with smart designs like the massive center console, useful full-width dash shelf and teen-friendly second row captain’s chairs. Toyota has given us less to get excited about under the skin with carryover engine and a 6-speed automatic that doesn’t push any envelopes. Do we recommend the total package or suggest a pass? Our latest video review has that answer.

First Drive: 2015 Lexus RC 350 and RC F

September 12th, 2014 No comments

Lexus Makes a Big Entry into a Small Segment

It’s been a long time since Lexus offered a sport coupe. Too long, we’d say, since we’re not counting the folding hardtop luxury cruiser that the SC became in the 2000’s. Lexus knows that for years it sent prospective buyers seeking a stylish two-door to the likes of Audi and BMW, and it knows their new offering will have to be special to bring them back. The confident tone of the brand’s executives convinced us they’re certain the RC will now have the looks and performance to win new buyers to the brand. Based on our spirited drive through New York’s Hudson Valley and subsequent flogging around Monticello Motor Club’s 3.6-mile road course, the wait has been worth it. Read more…

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Video Review: 2014 Kia Cadenza

September 8th, 2014 No comments

It took a few tries, but Kia now has a legitimate competitor to the excellent Buick LaCrosse and it’s called the Cadenza. Kia has equipped the Cadenza with a strong V6 that uses 293 hp to move it around just as well as the slightly stronger Buick and, although the looks might not quite match the Lacrosse’s luscious lines, it smartly uses a little chrome to pass off as a player that belongs. Inside is where Kia really did their homework, offering all the appropriate features like an excellent Infinity audio system, heated seats all around, a heated steering wheel, panoramic roof, rear sunshade, even a driver’s ventilated seat. Done up nicely with two-tone black and cream leather and stylish dark wood, the Cadenza has to make no apologies for its quiet and comfortable cabin. If we snap into our hyper critical mode the switchgear on the center console lags the best of the competition and the front grille still lacks personality in our opinion, but consider the pluses and add in the value of a ten year warranty and the $42k sticker price is spot on.

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First Drive: 2014 Toyota Highlander

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Exploring the Lowlands in the new Highlander

Ironically, Toyota invited us to the lowlands of Charleston, S.C. to test its new Highlander and while bounding through sprawling plantations and zipping around historic downtown streets something became clear: the all-new Highlander is very good. That can only help sales accelerate considering 2013 was the final year of the outgoing model and unit growth was still increasing to the tune of more than 120k last year. With a focus on providing smart and functional details for family use, Toyota wants to cement the Highlander’s reputation as a first-class family hauler for moms and attract some new dads to Toyota showrooms with bolder styling and improved performance. Read more…

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2014 NAIAS: 2015 Lexus RC 350

January 17th, 2014 No comments

The personal luxury coupe is a bit of an endangered species these days so we were excited to see Lexus offer one in the form of the RC 350. The nicely sized two-door features an intricately detailed version of Lexus’ giant front grille but here it works with the overall design that is also highlighted by beautiful wheels, stunning greenhouse and tidy rear end. The interior remains our biggest concern where, like all Lexus models of late, a design theme inspired by the late ’80s seems to be in place.  The RC 350 uses the corporate 3.5-liter V6 tuned to 314 hp to move it’s rear-wheel drive chassis through the corners but we’re even more excited for another NAIAS debut we’ve heard about where this car receives the full-monty F package and the delicious V8 that goes with it. Now that is the kind of personal luxury coupe we all want to see more of.

Video Review: 2013 Audi A8L 3.0T

August 1st, 2013 No comments


      Audi seems to be all about choice these days and the flagship A8 range seems to prove that. When only a few years ago a buyer could choose from V8 or W12, with the addition of the 3.0T model buyers can now choose from a V6, two V8s, a W12 and an upcoming diesel. Read more…

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2013 NAIAS: 2014 Lexus IS

January 17th, 2013 No comments

     The Lexus IS has been languishing for a while and has recently found itself a tad smaller than the class average set by cars like the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes C-Class. Of course the simple fix is to increase the dimensions while improving the packaging, and that’s exactly what Lexus has done with the 2014 IS. A very significant 3 inches of additional rear seat legroom will improve the sedan’s usability while the great 8-speed automatic from the IS F now trickles down to improve the IS’s performance. Both 2.5-liter and 3.5-liter V6 engines will power the IS and the styling will be sure to turn a few heads. We can handle just about everything including the most extreme variation of the new corporate grille we’ve yet seen, but the two piece headlamps are going to take a while to adjust to. At least they look way cool when illuminated. We’ll be lamenting the lack of a manual transmission, but an IS F Sport is now available and places a big emphasis on rewarding handling so we’d be willing to bet a drive of that will help ease the pain. Lexus is prepping the 2014 IS for a summer on-sale date. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Kia Cadenza

January 16th, 2013 No comments

     Kia unveiled its new large front-wheel drive sedan, called the Cadenza. No, Kia did not name the car after a piece of furniture; that would be a credenza so have no fear of a companion model named the Davenport. Rather, Kia’s newest member of their ever-more-stylish lineup takes a musical theme originally introduced by the small Forte. Now that we’ve gotten the nomenclature out of the way, we can say that this attractive large sedan fills the spot left by the forgettable Amanti sedan that vacated the Kia lineup after 2010. The Cadenza is regarded as Kia’s premium sedan. On sale in other markets since 2009 this updated model debuts in America in the 2nd quarter of 2013 as a 2014 model. As a premium vehicle the Cadenza features standard equipment such as leather seating, dual zone automatic climate control with rear seat ventilation, Smart Key keyless entry, 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and Bluetooth wireless technology. Available features include a full-length panoramic sunroof with power retractable sunshade, HID headlamps, Nappa leather seats, a memory enabled 12-way ventilated driver’s seat, adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Detection system and a Lane Departure Warning System. Powered by a 293 hp 3.3-liter V6 with 255 lb-ft of torque mated to a 6 speed automatic, the Cadenza joins a competitive premium sedan segment but doesn’t promise to lead the pack from the stoplight. Regardless, with its successful track record with the Forte and Optima we are eager to get behind the wheel of this stylish sedan and see just how much this car carries on the Kia family heritage. Read more…

2013 NAIAS: 2014 Acura MDX Prototype

January 15th, 2013 No comments

     Because the NSX remains two years away, Acura used the rest of its NAIAS time to show the assembled press the 2014 MDX Prototype that strongly hints at the production version which will get its own debut soon. Like springtime soon. Which means basically everything you see here will be available in showrooms later this year. This prototype did not have an interior so we can’t comment on that but the MDX remains powered by the 3.5-liter V6 but should get a bump in the power ratings. Super Handling All Wheel Drive will be offered but a front wheel drive MDX will now be available for those in warm climates. A longer wheelbase will allow for more second row legroom and improve ride quality. We like the handsome, refined lines of the new look and we’ll be sure to bring you the full report when we drive the production MDX later this year. Read more…