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Monthly Archives: December 2019

Top 3 Things About the Mercedes-Benz GLA and Its High-Performance AMG Version

Kompaktes Multitalent für den Einstieg in die Mercedes-AMG Welt Der neue Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC Compact all-rounder as an entry to the Mercedes-AMG world The new Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 4MATIC

After teasing us with its camouflaged prototypes and partially photographed portions of the crossover, Mercedes-Benz finally unveils the next-generation Mercedes-Benz GLA 250, and its high-performance variant, the Mercedes-AMG GLA 35.

The GLA range will be rolled out in US dealerships by the summer of 2020. European buyers will get their orders delivered to them as early as spring next year though. There’s no official information yet regarding the pricing of the compact SUV but it is estimated to start at the £35,000 mark.

1. Appearance

Mercedes-Benz GLA 2019 Mercedes-Benz GLA 2019

The exterior of the new GLA is not that different from its outgoing model. However, checking it closer will show that it now has a smoother body similar to the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class. It also adopts a new front radiator grille, narrower lights, and redesigned bumpers.

The dimensions of the auto have been updated too. Compared to its predecessor, the new GLA is now 0.6 shorter although it gains 1.1 inches in its wheelbase, 1.2 inches in width and 4.1 inches in height. The new configuration provides extra legroom for the rear seat passengers of the vehicle.

2. Tech and Comfort

2020 audi rs5 sportback (21)

Most of the goodies found in the new A-Class are simply carried over to the new GLA such as the circular air vents, steering wheel, controls, standard twin 7-inch displays that can be upgraded to 10.25 inches, and the MBUX multimedia system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The AMG GLA 35 version adds the MB-Tex/Dinamica microfiber-covered seats in black with red stitching as well as a carbon-fiber look on the dashboard and side panels. The AMG unit also adds four optional leather upholsteries to choose from.

The car wash function of the Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV trickles down to the GLA too. Basically, this function folds the side mirrors and closes all the windows, including the sunroof, upon activation during car washing. Then the integrated rain sensors of the wipers are deactivated so that they will not automatically engage. In addition, it switches the climate control to air-recirculation mode during the process.

3. Power

Mercedes-Benz GLA, Getriebe, 7G-DCT Mercedes-Benz GLA, transmission, 7G-DCT

The range starts with the Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 carrying a 1.33-liter engine producing 161 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque managed by a seven-speed automatic transmission. This one is only offered in Europe.

The US gets the Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-four engine capable of 221 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The power of the auto is distributed via an eight-speed automatic transmission to all four wheels. The unit boasts a 0-60 mph acceleration at 8.6 seconds and an electronically-limited max speed of 130 mph.

The Mercedes-AMG GLA 35 is fitted with a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four engine. It has 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The numbers take the vehicle from 0-60 mph in just 5 seconds while its top speed is electronically-capped at 155 mph.

Mercedes is expected to introduce more power trims for the GLA, including a plug-in hybrid model powered by electricity and petrol. Furthermore, it is set to receive the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 and 45 S models with 382 hp and 354 lb-ft torque plus 416 hp and 369 lb-ft torque, respectively.

Volkswagen Will Continue to Offer Cars in the US

volkswagen passat

Despite the strong preference of buyers for sport utility vehicles over cars, and with the likes of GM and Ford abandoning their sedan segment in the U.S. in favor of the bigger autos, Volkswagen promises to keep on offering their cars in the market.

“While some brands have walked away from car sales, we are focused on making smart decisions in this segment which is still a big part of the market,” said Volkswagen during its special media event today in Michigan. With that, the brand will continue selling the Jetta, Arteon, and Passat in the country.

During the event, the German automaker also revealed some of its plans for its SUV range. The company stated that it will be introducing an electric compact SUV in 2020. No names were dropped but we have a reason to believe that it might be the ID.4 we spied a few months ago.

The ID.4 will be based on the ID.Crozz concept. The electric crossover is expected to deliver up to 300 hp from its twin-motor specification.

Volkswagen hinted at another crossover that will be positioned below the Tiguan in the company’s hierarchy. The auto will be their answer to the likes of the Jeep Compass, Nissan Rogue, and Kia Sportage in the summer of 2021. Some suspect the unit to be based on the Nivus, which will be assembled in Mexico for the North American region.

Lastly, Volkswagen confirmed a facelifted model of the Atlas for 2021. Aside from the minor refresh in the exterior, the SUV will be getting a new steering wheel, touchscreen display measuring 8 inches, and updated driver assistance system. The unit will be longer by three inches too. It wasn’t clear though whether the new figure will translate to more legroom in the vehicle’s cabin.

2020 Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback Take a Mid-Cycle Refresh

2020 audi rs5 coupe and sportback

After refreshing its A5 lineup, Audi unveiled its facelifted RS5 Coupe and Sportback. The new Audi RS5 Coupe and Sportback models now sport a revised fascia and tech. However, the automaker retained the powertrains of the cars.

Exterior

2020 audi rs5 coupe (9)

The new RS5 range is fitted with a wider and flatter Singleframe grille design. The new styling is derived from the latest RS6 and RS7 cars. On the other hand, the narrow air vents just above the grille take inspiration from the 1984 Audi Sport Quattro. The changes are further complemented by new side sills and rear diffuser.

In addition, the new RS5 takes a new set of headlamps. The new lights can be upgraded with a matrix LED system and laser light technology.

2020 audi rs5 sportback (1)

The look of the RS5 is topped off by its 19-inch alloy wheels. Optional are 20-inch wheels in three different designs.

The RS5 also debuts two new colors called the “Turbo Blue” and “Tango Red”. It introduces a variety of new carbon accessories too, including a carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) roofing that cuts around four kilograms of the car’s total weight.

Interior

2020 audi rs5 coupe (21)

Highlighting the cabin of the RS5 is a new 10.1-inch display with Multi Media Interface (MMI) touch. MMI touch streamlines the audio, vehicle settings, navigation system and wireless interface of the auto. It comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. The cockpit of the car can be upgraded with the optional Audi virtual cockpit plus with a 12.3-inch display and two new RS modes.

2020 audi rs5 sportback (22)

Meanwhile, the leather seats are in Alcantara and leather, but they can be upgraded to Nappa leather for an extra cost. These can be customized more with the optional RS design package that puts either red or grey accents.

Powertrain

2020 audi rs5 coupe (19)

The RS5 keeps its 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine with 444 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque. The power is distributed via an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox. The configuration allows the coupe to accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds while the sportback does that in 3.8 seconds.

Audi claims that the RS5 offers improved handling. That’s if the new optional sport differential is installed in the rear axle, which distributed the torque actively on each wheel.

Price

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The facelifted RS5 will start at 83,500 euros in Germany, which is about $92,500 in the US.

McLaren Confirms Plug-In Hybrid Supercar

mclaren p1

It’s been six years since the rollout of the McLaren P1 plug-in hybrid supercar. After some hiccups in the production line that delayed the deliveries of the units to customers and problems with the technology present at that time, the automaker has since stayed away from following it up with another electric vehicle. However, the recent interview of the company’s CEO, Mike Flewitt, revealed that they are going to get back in the game again.

According to Car and Driver, McLaren will officially announce its new electric platform and a hybrid powertrain in spring next year. The first vehicle that will be equipped with them will come out in the U.S. by 2021. The boss of the company also stated that they are planning to hybridize all their models within the next three to four years.

The upcoming plug-in hybrid electric vehicle of McLaren promises an electric range of 15 to 20 miles at full charge. Meanwhile, they envision the acceleration of the auto from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds, which is quicker than the P1.

McLaren said that a new lightweight V6 engine is being developed for the PHEV. There was no mention yet about the possible output of the powertrain but we will get to that once the information becomes available. As for the V8 that is currently powering the brand’s cars, Flewitt revealed that they will continue to use it.

Furthermore, the Flewitt mentioned that the incoming supercar will have an all-wheel-drive system. The front wheels will be powered by an electric motor while the combustion engine will feed the rear axle.

The McLaren CEO cleared out that the weight of the hybrid setup should not come as an issue. He claimed that the new PHEV will only weigh 65 pounds heavier than the existing McLaren models.

2000 Volkswagen Beetle Given Off-Road Capabilities

Due to the very compact and low stance of the Volkswagen Beetle, many people may not realize that it has off-road potentials. Since the 1960s, however, we have been seeing the Baja Bug versions of the car, which is rigged with off-road modifications. The video above shows one example of this amazing car in action on a snowy and muddy track.

The subject is based on a 2000 Volkswagen Beetle GLS. It features a few cosmetic modifications such as orange accents, off-road lights, skid plate, and bumper guard. Beneath the car is a suspension kit that adds around three inches to its ride height. Then it is equipped with 16-inch wheels wrapped in off-road tires. A spray-on bed coating has been applied to its body for extra paint protection. Meanwhile, it is also fitted with a Magnaflow exhaust to provide the Beetle with a louder engine sound, and because of the age of the car, its exhaust needed to be replaced already.

The rest of the Beetle appears to be stock. There are no indications that the interior has been touched by the upgrade. The bug is still using its original 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 115 hp while a four-speed automatic transmission distributes power to the front wheels.

The Beetle here was christened as Baja Bob. It was taken on a trip in the cold snowy trails of Moab in Utah by the people at TFLoffroad to test its off-road potential.

They drove over at the muddy road, tested its climb on snow, and crossed it over a creek. Although it encountered a few hiccups on its way to Utah as narrated in the video, and it struggled in the ditch due to lack of momentum, it surprisingly withstood the whole ordeal.

Facelifted 2021 Jaguar F-Type Revealed in London

facelifted 2021 jaguar f-type (1)

The Jaguar F-Type has been in production in 2013. Since then, the car has remained unchanged, but as this year comes to an end, its manufacturer finally decides to introduce its facelifted version.

The F-Type saw a 10.3 percent drop to 2,434 units sold based on a year-on-year sales comparison. The decline was attributed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders to weak business and consumer confidence as well as economic uncertainty. The shifting preference of buyers in favor of hybrid and electric cars were to blame too. The introduction of the facelifted F-Type is expected to boost the sales of Jaguar as the car gets a revitalized look and more powertrain options.

Exterior

facelifted 2021 jaguar f-type (2)

Outside, the changes appear to be subtle. Jaguar enhanced the face of the F-Type with its lower nose and updated headlamps. The hood was resculpted too, so it now has smoother lines and contours. There are minor upgrades in the styling of the taillights, tailpipes and the diffuser of the auto as well, depending on its trim.

Interior

facelifted 2021 jaguar f-type (22)

The interior tries to keep up with the changing times by ditching the analog controls in favor of a digital instrument cluster. Then it adopts Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smoother smartphone integration.

Engine

facelifted 2021 jaguar f-type (33)

Underneath its hood, the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder and 3.0-liter supercharged V6 engines of the current F-Type have been carried over in the 2021 models. On the other hand, the 5.0-liter supercharged power unit that used to be in the F-Type SVR is now available for the F-Type R trim.

The range-topping trim of the F-Type produces 575 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. All that power is distributed via Jag’s eight-speed Quickshift transmission to an all-wheel-drive system. The configuration takes the car from 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 seconds while its top speed can go up to 300 km/h.

The performance of the F-Type is complemented by its new adaptive dampers, springs, ball joints, rear knuckle, and anti-roll bars.

New to the range is a V8 in a different state of tune giving off 444 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. It is offered in either a rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive setup. This entry-level V8 is capable of pushing the car from 0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. For now, the trim that carries this is only sold in Europe.

Jaguar has set the pricing of 2021 F-Type starting at £54,060 in the UK (approximately $71,000 in the US).

Feast Your Eyes on the New Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

nissan gt-r50 by italdesign (6)

Early this year, we have been graced with the unveiling of the concept and production versions of the new Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign. Before the year ends, we will see the prototype of the limited edition series supercar again at the 2019 Nismo festival, and its customer model will be finally showcased at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show in March next year.

The GT-R50 uses the latest Nissan GT-R Nismo platform, and it will only be limited to 50 samples. Its maker said that there are “significant number of deposits already taken” from customers who want to get their hands on the supercar. Although the automaker didn’t release the official figures yet, they said that there are only a few reservations left for the product.

Orders for the GT-R50 will arrive between late 2020 or the end of 2021, depending on the location of the buyers. The rare car starts at €990,000, excluding taxes and other fees. That’s a hefty $1.12 million on the US market, which can already buy you around five GT-R Nismo units. Of course, the price can still bubble depending on the optional add-ons that the customer will put in the auto.

The GT-R50 is equipped with extensive exterior and interior modifications that include a new hood, head and tail lights, air intakes, front spoiler, side apron, special paint options, mirror caps, bespoke wheels, and retractable rear wing, among others. The customizations available for the car basically depends on the budget and preferences of the buyer.

The most mind-blowing feature of the GT-R50 comes under its hood in the form of a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 engine. The power unit offers 710 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. All that power is distributed via a six-speed automatic transmission system. These are complemented by upgraded differentials, driveshafts, suspension with Bilstein adjustable damping system and Brembo brakes.

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