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Monthly Archives: December 2018

2020 Lincoln Aviator Crossover Has 400HP As Standard

2020 lincoln aviator (3)

The 2020 Lincoln Aviator crossover is merciless to its competitors. Finally revealed in its production form following its concept debut at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, the new crossover has a whopping 400 horsepower as standard while even more power is promised for its plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Once launched, the Lincoln Aviator will be available in two engines, both of which are twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6s though one will arrive with a plug-in hybrid. The standard engine will produce an impressive 400 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. That’s 40 horses more than the top-rung six-cylinder Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 and about 65 horsepower more than the entry-level six-cylinder BMW X5 xDrive40i.

The hybrid powertrain brings the Aviator to 450 horsepower and a staggering 600 pound-feet of torque. That’s six horsepower away from the V8-powered BMW X5 xDrive50i but 121 more in terms of torque.

Typical to many plug-in hybrid powertrains, the one in the Aviator crossover can run the vehicle in pure electric mode or hold the charge to be deployed at a more opportunistic time such as driving on the highway. Lincoln hasn’t released figures for its pure electric range. There are no details about fuel efficiency, too.

The layout of the standard engine and the hybrid system is pretty radical. Lincoln said the battery for the plug-in hybrid powertrain fits nicely under the passenger side of the vehicle between the front and rear wheels while the motor is placed between the engine and the transmission.

This layout is partly why all versions of the Aviator will use the same 10-speed automatic transmission, which is gradually being used in the Ford family. From there, power will be distributed to either the rear wheels or through an optional all-wheel-drive system. Lincoln also said that this is a modular hybrid system, so it will be used in other Lincoln and Ford products in the future.

Should We Care About 2019 Mazda 3’s New Font Brand?

mazda font

There are plenty of things we need to be excited about the new 2019 Mazda 3 since there are significant changes both in the exterior and the interior of the car. But there’s one thing that Mazda’s North American senior director of design Julien Montousse wants us to focus on: the new Mazda 3 is using a new typeface called the Mazda Type.

The new font face will represent the brand from this point forward. We expect it to be used on every new car that’ll come out of Mazda’s factories though an “Sg” badge for Signature trim levels on certain models that haven’t made the font switch yet will also be available.

Montousse described the new font as being more vertical than the old Mazda font, an italicized typeface called Mazda Font. The new font is used on the Mazda 3’s trunk lid badges, as well as on some interior bits like the floor mats. The displays and controls will use a different font because they have to follow certain regulations, Montousse said.

Internally, Mazda has already started using the new font for all its company memos and communications. This is a part of the Japanese automaker’s bid to portray itself as a premium and upscale brand. Montousse said that design team took a lot of time and poured their thoughts over the creation of the new font.

The plan is to roll out Mazda Type to various Mazda models as they receive updates. We can expect future models and updates to carry this new font.

Mazda isn’t the first auto company to create an entirely new font. Volkswagen also introduced a new typeface that we now know as the Volkswagen Text. All automakers have their own distinctive and recognizable font for badges, logos, and marketing materials. You may even download these fonts from the internet.

 

Mazda Readies Its First All-Electric Car As A Standalone Model

mazda

Mazda is gearing up for the launch of its first all-electric car, which is due in 2020. Although the car won’t look dramatically different from all of the current Mazda models, the Japanese company said that the coming all-electric car will be a standalone model and it won’t be a part of its collaboration with fellow Japanese automaker Toyota.

Apparently, Mazda has been working on this EV even before its tie-up with Toyota was finalized. Ironically, the partnership created by these two giants in the auto industry is to jointly develop EVs.

Because this will be a standalone model, Mazda’s first EV will not simply be an electric version of an already existing model. Other than this little but all-important tidbit, we don’t have any information about what kind of configuration or exterior detailing this first Mazda EV will arrive with.

When it comes to its body style, we can do a bit of imagining and rendering. There’s no reason why Mazda will divert from what it has seemingly specialized in the past—a high-riding crossover. This will effectively take advantage of the popularity of this segment right now. Aside from that, taller vehicles will allow more space for the easier packaging of the battery modules while still maintaining good cabin size for the passengers.

Mazda, however, has always been a carmaker that sets the trends rather than the one that follows them. This means the first EV might not be a crossover or an SUV. It may be like just another model off Mazda’s factories, albeit with a battery pack.

According to a report from Autocar, Ikuo Maeda, Mazda’s design chief, doesn’t want the upcoming EV “to look digital” while its European design boss said they “don’t want to make an EV to look like a fridge like some other car makers.” This means the new EV will not stick out like a sore thumb and it will be styled like all the other cars in the Mazda range.

Want a bit more to imagine? Mazda’s design language can be seen in its latest iteration of the Mazda 3 hatch and sedan. If the new EV will look anything like the Mazda 3, then our expectations have just been boosted.

BMW’s Position On Manual Transmission: To Offer It On New M3 And M4

bmw m4

BMW finally clarified its position on the manual transmission and said that the coming M3 and M4 will come with the row-your-own gearbox. This position was made clear by the German automaker at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show.

Klaus Fröhlich, the candid BMW board member and head of development, said that in the M4, at least, the manual transmission will still be available for the next decade. “I think M4 should be the fortress of manual. So the last manual transmission which will die, it should die in an M4, as late as possible. That’s my view.”

His statement officially shuts down the notion that BMW planned on killing the manual transmission. That news was first heard in 2017.

However, like former M boss Frank van Meel, Fröhlich warned that the day will come when the manual transmission will be extinct. He said that the transmission creates major headaches for auto engineers who must update the gearboxes to be able to handle massive amounts of torque. In fact, there is no transmission partner who likes to develop a new manual gearbox and it’s unprofitable to continue serving a small number of customers.

The latest problem with the manual transmission was manifested in the Ford 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500, which only came, at best, with a dual-clutch transmission.

What Fröhlich wants now is to prolong the life of the current manual transmission setup, which will be available in both the M3 and M4 that will be built sometime in 2027 or 2028. After that, it is unclear what BMW and the M division plan to do, but we should expect the last manual transmission to “die” with the M4.

Meanwhile, the BMW boss also revealed that the M3 and M4 will come with an all-wheel-drive setup, though it won’t be standard. It will be a “variant” for the next sports car.

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