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Monthly Archives: August 2017

Battle Of The SUVs: Mercedes-Benz Versus Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged SUV

land rover vs mercedes-benz

There’s nothing more experts, analysts, and fans enjoy than a good old competition between the best of the best, or so we believe. German car Mercedes-Benz and British brand Land Rover have always made their marks in terms of luxury, functionality, and even performance.

For many car experts, the Land Rover Range Rover remains to be the world’s best luxury off-road utility vehicle. While there is a strong argument for that, some would say that the Mercedes-Benz is a more desirable four-wheel-drive off-road vehicle. Obviously, there are both truths to these claims based on Autoblog.

Interior

The argument goes like this: For Mercedes-Benz fans, there’s nothing like staying inside the German automaker’s luxurious SUV, where drivers and passengers will usually spend their time in. There’s a point in that, of course, as no one would stand outside an SUV ogling at it for hours in a day.

That’s pretty much a reality because everyone knows that stepping into a contemporary Mercedes-Benz SUV is a “wow” moment. The interiors have always been posh, luxurious, and exclusive. Even Mercedes’ older SUVs have a special and upscale experience, despite the fact that luxury features of yesterday cannot compare to what they are today.

Reliability and Dependability

Based on the latest Vehicle Dependability Study, which rates vehicles after they have reached three years of use, Land Rover is “average” in terms of reliability. On the other hand, the Consumer Reports and others indicate that Mercedes-Benz owners are rated second for the most-expensive repair bills on average. It sits behind BMW. Again, Land Rover was average in terms of repair needs.

Range Rover issues such as check engine lights, air suspension warnings, and the like appear randomly. In time, these issues go away on their own without the owners having to bring the Range Rover to their service centers or to a local mechanic. Mercedes, on the other hand, has to be brought to a mechanic as soon as an issue crops up. Owners also have to prepare for a massive repair bill.

Tesla Model 3 Gets Funded For Production

tesla model 3

Were you a bit worried that the much-awaited Tesla Model 3 won’t see production because of funding? The car business is quite an expensive one, and the production of the Model 3 was almost halted because of it.

But it looks like Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s plan to boost production to 500,000 units by the end of 2018 is now possible, thanks largely to investors’ faith and trust in the young entrepreneur. Unlike many products and concepts that are still looking and begging for investors, Musk was the only face needed for these big businessmen to trip over themselves to raise money for the Tesla Model 3.

Musk was simply seeking $1.5 billion last week, and he managed to raise $600,000 of that four hours after his announcement. Now, we heard reports that he was able to sell a half-million worth of Junk bonds to investors, which totaled to $1.8 billion, surpassing the initial amount he was seeking.

The investment is in the form of “eight-year unsecured bonds at a rate of 5.30 percent.” The investment is not without its risk, of course. Such investment yields bigger profit in the long run, but it’s also possible to lose your money when the company you invested your money in made some bad decisions along the way. Hopefully, we won’t see Musk do that.

One of the biggest challenges that face the production of Tesla Model 3 is its dependency on Gigafactory to supply each and every battery—both the standard- and long-range model. Though there is no problem about bringing in profit from the manufacturing of the battery itself, even Musk admitted that he was worried about the lack of battery cells.

Only time will tell if there’s going to be a shortage of cells in the future. When that happens, Tesla might need to cut short its production of the long-range model of battery and stick with the standard-range model, which uses fewer cells.

4 Things We Can Learn From The 2018 BMW X5

2018 bmw x5 (12)

In 2000, BMW finally joined the fray of crossovers with the BMW X5. It has spawned four other crossovers, and has been through three different generational changes. The first one was in 2006 with the E70 X5 for a 2007 model, then the next in 2013 with the current F15 generation.

Based on calculations, it’s about time for us to get another generational update from the BMW X5. We’ve seen spy shots of the new X5 from TopSpeed, and we can’t wait to learn more about it.

1. Exterior

The spy shots did not reveal much about the exterior of the new X5. Although it’s clearly BMW’s crossover, there are no side skirts, a minimal front fascia, and a pair of headlights that look like it came from a 2000 model.

From the sides, the body line along the doors and fenders looks and feels like the current X5. The lower body lines on the doors may be carried over to the production model, but we’ll have to wait and see. Like the rest of the exterior, there is no significant change on the rear, except that those taillights would definitely be a departure from the current generation X5.

2. Interior

What we can expect from the new model is that it will be more comfortable and will be packed with new tech and safety features. The probably upgrades are: softer leather seats with better padding, a different instrument cluster layout (maybe even a TFT display), and a thinner infotainment screen.

BMW’s 7 Series already had the gesture control down pat, so maybe we’ll see that one here, too.

3. Drivetrain

It’s still too early to speculate on what the drivetrain would be for the new X5, although we can expect it to have more power and torque than the current 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque being produced by the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder.

4. Pricing

The current X5 has a starting price of $54,700 for the sDrive 35i while the range-topping xDrive 50i sells for $71,599. It’s pure speculation at this point but based on the additional upgrades, the X5 might sell for $2,000 more than the current base price.

A New BMW M5 Will Be An All-Wheel-Drive

The current BMW M5.

The 2016 BMW M5.

Every time that a new version of the BMW M5 comes out, everyone gets excited—car enthusiasts and analysts alike. With that, BMW just announced that a new M5 is coming, so we’re now free to speculate what we can expect from one of the car market’s best-driving sports sedans.

Since its release in 1985, the M5 has been setting up the bar high for sportscar-like sedans in the market. It has competed fairly well and over the years, received a variety of upgrades from the German automaker. So diverse was its engine specifications through the years that it has been powered by an I-6, a V-8, and a V-10.

BMW has been consistent in one thing, though—it has always used a rear-wheel-drive system and it worked for many of its adoring fans. This time, BMW’s M division finally decided to walk away from the consistency of a rear-wheel-drive. With too much power on its hand, BMW said that the ultimate 5 Series will use an all-wheel-drive system.

M5 purists would frown upon this intrusion into the system, but the German automaker assured its market that there’s no need to worry about it as the M5 simply produces too much power for it to stay with a rear-wheel-drive setup. Timo Glock, one of BMW’s factory team drivers, said that drivers can still use the M5 pretty much like one with a rear-wheel-drive system.

A few months ago, an M5 prototype was released for testing to car analysts. In general, everyone was in agreement that although the current-generation M5 is capable, it still couldn’t compete with the Mercedes-AMG E63. The prototype, with its all-wheel-drive setup, would be able to do just that. Maybe it can finally request for a head-to-head rematch with the AMG.

BMW will make the official reveal of the all-wheel-drive M5 at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month.

8 Things You Can Expect From The 2019 Toyota RAV4

toyota rav4 7

The Toyota RAV4 is looking to claim the best-selling crossover for the Japanese brand. It has surpassed Camry in sales during the first half of 2017, so we are looking forward to what it has in store when the upgraded 2019 Toyota RAV4 finally arrives.

1. More Powerful

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is going to be powered by a four-cylinder engine though without a turbocharger. The current RAV4 can produce 176 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque, and it is fitted with an eight-speed transmission.

2. Another Hybrid

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid will be coming back to compete with the Rogue hybrid and the introduction of the CR-V Hybrid that will be arriving in US shores soon.

3. Fuel Efficient

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 promises to be more economical in terms of its use of fuel. Currently, the 2017 RAV4 is EPA-rated at 23/29-30 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 22/28 mpg with all-wheel drive.

4. TRD Sport Variant

The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Adventure introduced a Top Prep package that featured few visual upgrades, making the RAV4 Adventure different from the usual RAV4 though not that much. Toyota is trying to increase the reach of its TRD sub-brand, so we might be seeing a RAV4 TRD Sport trim or another RAV4 Adventure model.

5. Roomy Interior

You will be surprised at how much space the new RAV4 can offer you. It has one of the roomiest interiors ever seen in a crossover, though the RAV4 will begin switching to a new TNGA architecture.

6. Platinum Models

For those who want the Platinum trim, you can expect a premium experience with its rear-seat vents, panoramic glass roof, a color head-up display, and rear cross-traffic braking.

7. Driving Experience is Better

This new midsize sedan was much more improved in terms of driving and handling experience. The competition remains to be the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V.

8. No RAV4 Two-Door

There’s no way the RAV4 would have a two-door version again because Toyota doesn’t look like it would sacrifice the spaciousness we’ve come to love with the RAV4.

3 Things You Should Know About The 2019 Nissan Altima Spy Shots

2019 nissan altima (4)

There are new spy shots of the prototype for the next-generation Nissan Altima mid-sizer. The car will be due to arrive in showrooms in late 2018 as a 2019 model, and will represent the sixth generation of the Altima nameplate.

During the 2017 Detroit auto show earlier this year, the next-gen Altima was previewed through the Vmotion 2.0 concept car.

1. Design

If you have seen the concept, you’ll know that there are numerous elements from it that can now be seen in the production version of the car. There’s much you can see in the spy shots from Motor1 even though it’s in heavy camouflage. The prototype and even the production model both highlighted the angular headlights, V-shaped grille, and floating roof.

The interior showed that the new Altima will have a digital screen in the instrument cluster and a larger screen located at the top of the center stack. For those who still want the feel of touching something in their cars, there are physical knobs for functions such as controlling the volume and temperature.

2. Powertrain

There’s no word yet on what the Altima will come packed with. What we can expect is that a four-cylinder should be the base model while a more powerful option will be offered in the form of a turbocharged four-cylinder or a four-cylinder-based hybrid setup.

The gear selector in the new Altima will be similar with the current model. This means we can expect a CVT and a front-wheel-drive system. An all-wheel drive is still in question, though.

If you’re looking for more driver assistance tech, the Altima can offer that, too. The ProPilot will reportedly be available in the next-generation Altima, including the assistance to drivers in accelerating, braking, and steering in a single lane in a highway. There’s also parking assistance provided by the system.

3. Competition

The next-generation Altima is in direct competition with the Toyota Camry, the Chevrolet Malibu, the Subaru Liberty, the Ford Fusion, the Kia Optima, the Honda Accord, and the Hyundai Sonata.

3 Things To Watch Out For In The Unveiling Of Reborn TVR

reborn tvr

Are you ready for the 2017 Goodwill Revival this September? You have one more thing to be excited about. Reborn British sports car brand TVR is set to unveil its newest model for the first time in years. A teaser photo was released via the TopGear magazine, and we couldn’t be more in awe.

The latest image shows that a TVR Le Mans comeback might actually be possible, but let’s focus first on the new car to be unveiled in September.

A Griffith Nameplate

There’s no news yet on what name this new Reborn TVR car will carry. It is widely believed that it will use the Griffith nameplate, but there’s no confirmation on that yet. The Griffith nameplate was actually retired in 2002 but TVR surprisingly registered the name once more in 2016, paving the way for speculations to rise that Reborn is set to revive it.

Lightweight but Powerful

The new Reborn TVR car will only weigh as little as 2,645 pounds, but it will have a power alike the Ford Mustang GT. To achieve this, TVR worked with Gordon Murray Design for the application of the iStream carbon fiber chassis, which was inspired by Formula One design to keep unnecessary weight off the car.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 5.0-liter V-8 engine tuned by Cosworth to produce around 480 horsepower. It will be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Price Starts at $115,800

The launch edition vehicles will comprise the first batch of the newest TVR cars. So far, it already received 400 orders for the car, pushing TVR to close the order books. It promised to reopen it, however, once the car has been revealed in September, so we can expect plenty more people to come knocking on TVR’s doors.

If everything goes well for the British automaker, it will release three more models and produce 2,000 cars by 2022.

 

BMW X2 Crossover Spy Photos Released

BMW X2 (10)

Apparently, BMW is not yet done with crossovers. We have seen what they did with the X4, the X6, the X3, the X5, and even the X1. While some of us loved the lineup of crossovers from the German automaker, others felt that the brand was trying too hard to compete with US and Japanese manufacturers.

Then, came the BMW X2 crossover. BMW released spy photos of the X2 Crossover in camouflage. Remember this was previewed as a concept during last year’s Paris Auto Show? Back then, there was no excitement surrounding its design, which was actually seen as the more stylish version of the X1.

The BMW X2 was made essentially to provide the same functionality as the X4 and the X6, though the latest BMW crossover exchanged the X4’s and X6’s fastback shape for a more traditional roofline. This significantly ups the X2’s design and style. It also has a lower height and higher window line, allowing the X2 to have a more proportioned and sportier body style than the X1.

To prove its more aggressive aesthetic, the X2 will also have an angry-looking pair of headlights and BMW’s ever-popular kidney grille.

Similar to the X1, the X2 will also use BMW’s front-wheel-drive-based UKL platform. Majority of BMW’s global market will get a front-wheel-drive X2, but the United States may actually expect an all-wheel-drive for its market.

As for the power, BMW will be using a B46 turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine with an output from X1’s 228 horsepower. If you are looking for more power, the X2 might also offer an M Performance variant, which will add power, torque, and even better handling and driving experience.

We don’t have any details yet on when BMW plans to unveil the X2, but  you might be able to see it before the year ends. Maybe the Frankfurt auto show in September is a good event to launch it? Sales and distribution should begin by 2018.

3 Important Things To Learn About The 2018 Lucid Motors Air

lucid motors air (49)

The release of the Tesla Model S triggered companies to do research on what could possibly be the best and most affordable electric cars. And while most companies are intent on electrifying their lineup with mass-targeted EVs by 2020, specialty manufacturers like Lucid Motors Air is coming up with their own version of a funky electric sedan.

1. Exterior

Based on the photos of the car from a source, the two most noticeable things about the Lucid Air is the lack of radiator grille and the massive windshield. The engineers over there were pretty confident that the lack of the grille won’t hinder the airflow needed for the motor and batteries, and that’s largely thanks to the vents in the front hood. The massive windshield adds to the very modern styling.

2. Interior

The unique exterior would only need to be completed by the superior styling of the interior, too. The primary focus of anyone who would see the interior of the car is the floating dashboard with a huge display module at the front of the driver. This includes three different displays—one for navigation and driver information center, one for the instrument cluster, and one for the battery charge state, range, etc.

The front cabin might be nice, but the rear passenger seats are on another level. Angled like a bathtub, which means the seats are reclined, the rear cabin is unparalleled in comfort and luxury. There’s a long center console in the middle of the seats that also houses a small display to let passengers control various features.

3. Drivetrain

Lucid developed its battery for over a decade, allowing it to go 400 miles on a single charge on 1,000 horsepower of near-instance go juice. The engine itself is an electric motor and transmission that are probably better than what we now see in the market.

The base model of the Lucid Motors Air offers up to 240-mile range with 400 horsepower in a rear-wheel-drive configuration. It should be able to compete with the Model S, including a much cheaper price of $52,500.

Once it is launched, there will also be a Launch Edition that has 1,000 horsepower and 315 miles of range on a single charge.

Starting Price Of Tesla Model X Dropped

tesla model x 75d

The Tesla Model X 75D luxury electric sport-utility vehicle will now have a starting price of $79,500, which is $3,000 less than the original price. The move comes on the heels of the launch of the new Tesla Model 3, which will have a starting price of $35,000, the most affordable in Tesla’s lineup of electric vehicles.

Analysts predicted and even feared that the introduction of the Model 3 to the market will significantly affect the sales of Model X as customers will now want to settle for the cheaper sedan than the luxury SUV. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk was quick to shrug off the speculations. He said that the demand for Model X has not waned and that there is still very much a market for a $79,500 electric SUV.

Musk said that the Model X had a low gross margin when it was launched. However, as the company achieved fuel efficiencies, they decided to lower the price and pass that value to the customers.

The demand for Model X and the Model S has actually increased, the Tesla CEO added amid fears that the Model 3 will isolate the other vehicles in Tesla’s electronic range. The Model X’s most expensive variant, the P100D, costs $145,000. It has the fastest acceleration among Tesla’s models and also has a longer range.

The Model 3 is being marketed as an electronic car for the masses. With a starting price of $35,000, this is easily accessible for those who want to be environment conscious. However, there are still plans for a longer range model that will be priced at $44,000. This model will compete with luxury sedans such as Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and the Mercedes C-Class.

Although Tesla is adamant that Model 3 did not affect the other vehicles in its lineup, overall gross margins excluding stock-based compensation and revenue from zero-emission vehicle credits decreased to 25 percent in the second quarter from 26.4 percent during the same period last year.

 

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