Posts Tagged ‘V8’

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.

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: 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe LT

August 28th, 2014 No comments

If there is one word that could describe the Chevrolet Tahoe since its introduction in 1995, it would be ‘capable’. Based on the full-size Chevrolet pickups, its towing, seating and cargo capacities have been among the highest in the industry. Alas, these capabilities have come at a price. High curb weight, barn-like aerodynamics and massive size have contributed to high fuel consumption and poor on-road agility. As a result, consumers have left the full-size SUV segment for smaller and less capable crossovers.  or 2015 Chevrolet has introduced its all-new Tahoe and Suburban. In doing so, Chevy has made some clear attempts to lessen the drawbacks of owning a traditional SUV, but is it enough to halt the consumer exodus to more compromising car-based crossovers? We inspect this shiny new truck from tire to luggage rack to find out.

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Video Review: 2014 Nissan Armada Platinum

May 21st, 2014 No comments

The full-size SUV market is shrinking, but Nissan is still trying to get a piece of it with their commodious Armada. We came to realize during our week with a fully-loaded Platinum version that they have their work cut out for them going up against major new players like the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and Ford Expedition. The problem is that you don’t even have to be in the car review business to see the Armada’s shortcomings. The engine is down on power with only 317 hp on board this nearly three ton people mover, and unfortunately the outdated 5-speed automatic can only partner with it to return 12 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. That’s an expensive reality even by class standards standards. The disappointment continues inside with subpar ergonomics, materials that are out of place in a $54k vehicle and a small infotainment screen. Now it’s not all bad by any means. We loved the comfortable seats, the second row DVD screens and the 2-speed transfer case gives the Armada a fighting chance in the worst weather Old Man Winter can drop on you. But was it enough to earn our recommendation in the end? You’re five minutes from finding out.

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2014 NAIAS: 2015 Ford Mustang

January 13th, 2014 No comments


The Ford Mustang is an icon like no other so when a new one debuts the world pays attention. We were able to lay eyes on the new ponys at the NAIAS and came away pleased with the significant update that arrives just in time for the model’s 50th Anniversary. Gone is the solid rear axle so we expect a new level of handling finesse without the side skip you used to get on broken pavement. We’re also fans of the revised profile and sportier greenhouse with cleaner lines and a dramatically sloped rear fastback shape. Up front the wide grille remains tough looking and instantly recognizable. The rear end is visually reduced from the last generation and sportier looking as a result. The 5.0 V8 remains the top engine and the 3.7-liter V6 serves as the base motor but a new 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder will slot in the middle as an efficient option with more than 300 horsepower. The interior remains mostly retro inspired but with improved materials and easier to use controls to access the latest connectivity and infotainment options. Of course the usual bevy of special editions will start debuting before long but for now we’re happy to report the world can breathe easy because the Mustang GT lives up to its iconic status.

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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Design Critique

January 14th, 2013 No comments
     We’ve never been given the task to design a car, much less one as sacred to the automotive faithful as the long running Chevrolet Corvette. The look of such a car must be a challenge to the designers in order to balance the continuation of the legend while reinventing and innovating to keep the car fresh and competitive. It is much easier for those of us on this side of the drawing board to praise or criticize each generation of Corvette. At the end, however, it is the consumer and enthusiast who decides the success and failure of each successive automotive generation. We’re critics though and we know what we like and we know Corvette history. Unfortunately this new car, which revives the Stingray name, did not immediately take our breath away. Even so we must remember our original thoughts when casting our gaze on the C5 Corvette, which is now considered the car that revolutionized what it meant to bear the beloved name. That car didn’t immediately strike us as beautiful then either. Certainly we can praise the upgraded interior and speculate on what it will feel like to row through seven gears. What we can’t predict is whether the C7 will grow better with age or be remembered as the car that broke the Corvette’s beauty streak.

First Drive: 2013 Lexus LS

October 22nd, 2012 No comments

Comfort is King in the Redesigned Lexus Flagship

     Since its debut in 1989 the Lexus LS has emphasized comfort over everything else. Through the relentless pursuit of perfection engineers have been on a never ending quest to eradicate every hint of noise, vibration and harshness no matter how seemingly insignificant. If you want to truly understand the phrase “detail obsessed” lock yourself in a room with the LS’s chief engineer for an afternoon. The flagship’s reputation has been built upon its unmatched ability to isolate passengers from the harsh and hectic world and the thoroughly refreshed 2013 model intends to move that reputation to the next level. And having already established a lead in the luxury hybrid market with the range-topping LS 600h L Lexus engineers are taking this opportunity to get in the sport-minded market by adding a new F Sport trim to the LS lineup. Lexus recently invited us to sample the LS family and when we weren’t reclined in the massaging back seat pretending to be a business titan we made some observations you might be interested in. Read more…

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2012 NAIAS: Bentley Continental GT & GTC V8

January 10th, 2012 No comments

2013 Bentley Continental GTC V8

      In an effort to look concerned about the environment and offer a bit of a discount on their entry offering Continental range, Bentley has developed a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 to motivate the Flying B in place of the 6.0-liter W12 that they’ve used for almost a decade. (Don’t worry, for those wealthy clients who aren’t as concerned with saving polar bears the W12 remains available.) Horsepower comes in at an even 500 while torque maxes at 481 lb-ft. An 8-speed automatic sends power out to all four wheels and all the usual Bentley luxuries remain available. Read more…

2011 Land Rover LR4

July 21st, 2011 No comments

The Gadgetmobile of SUVs

     Muddy is an appropriate word to describe Land Rover’s LR4. Just as the British brand’s name invokes images of 4×4 vehicles traversing damp and muddy English terrain, it also recalls a muddy history of vehicular nomenclature. The LR-what? For those who care to keep track the LR4 is the replacement for the LR3 which was the replacement for the Discovery. We greatly miss the Discovery name mainly because we can no longer make Land Rover marketers cringe whenever we affectionately call it the “Disco.” However, we weren’t missing the Discovery’s tired old bones after spending a week in the high-tech leather-lined confines of the best value Land Rover in today’s showrooms. Read more…

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NAIAS 2011: 2011 Chrylser 300

January 10th, 2011 No comments


     After a barrage of new and updated product revealed by the Chrysler Group over the past few months, the Chrysler brand finally gave the world a live look at its next generation flagship model, the 300 sedan. While clearly evolutionary as compared to its award winning 2004 predecessor, the 300 appears to refine the model’s best attributes while correcting some of its most glaring faults: base powertrains and interior refinement. Read more…

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