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4 Facts About The 2018 Volkswagen Atlas

volkswagen-atlas-15

Finally, Volkswagen unveiled its 2018 Atlas, a three-row, seven-seater SUV that the German automaker hopes would play a major role in the SUV segment in the United States. This was first previewed in 2013 by the CrossBlue concept.

According to a report, the SUV made its world debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, and will be expected in showrooms in the spring of 2017. Built at the Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Atlas will arrive as a 2018 model.

1. Based on MQB Platform

Similar to the Golf and other Volkswagen models, the Atlas is going to be made from the MQB platform, the largest version available to make a case to be the segment’s most value- and family-oriented SUV. It is expected to go against the Ford Explorer, the Toyota Highlander, the Chevrolet Traverse and the Honda Pilot.

2. Largest Vehicle of VW

With measurements of 198.3 inches in length, 77.9 in width and 69.6 in height, the Volkswagen Atlas is the biggest vehicle in the VW fleet. It has an airy cabin that was almost based on the CrossBlue concept. It features massive knobs, large touchscreen infotainment system, as well as wood trims on the console.

3. Two Powertrain Options

Once launched, the Atlas will have two powertrains. The base is the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that can produce 238 horsepower. The second option is the 3.6-liter V-6 that can cough up 280 horsepower. Initially, Volkswagen wanted to release a diesel option, but the recent scandal hounding it proved too much for the company. Fuel-conscious buyers need not fret because there might be a hybrid option in the future.

A front-wheel drive will be paired with the inline-4 while the V-6 has an option of an all-wheel drive. The 8-speed automatic transmission will be standard. VW said that EPA ratings will be announced when its nearing market release.

4. A/V Tech is Topnotch

Tech items include Fender audio system with 12 speakers, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration. Safety features include forward collision warning, blind spot and lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.

Boxy Mercedes SUV: The Living Legend

mercedes-benz-g-class

Not many visualize an SUV from Mercedes-Benz that is high and box type. But made initially along the lines of military vehicles for the use of the civilians, the G-class SUV from the company has today become one of the oldest of its cars.

Rumors have it that the car was made on the insistence of the then Shah of Iran who happened to be a major shareholder of Mercedes-Benz. This G-class Mercedes was also referred to as G-Wagen. It was made by a company called Magna Steyr that was formerly Magna-Steyr-Puch.

This was the reason why this boxy SUV from Mercedes was called Puch-G where it was sold under the brand name Puch. Introduced way back in 1979, this boxy Mercedes SUV is still being produced by the company.

G-class happens to be a bold and beautiful vehicle from Mercedes. On the one hand it has beautiful sublime looks and it boasts belligerent character.

In many ways, this large luxury vehicle from Mercedes Benz reminds one of a military automobile standing outside a gated community. As an owner, you can take pride from the fact that you get to see the other cars and individuals from a height. But this is just the start as this old and boxy Mercedes SUV which starts at a base price of $120,000 is mighty quick and gives a powerful feeling with its all wheeled drive.

G-class was not available to the people in America surprisingly for a long period of time even though the car found its way into the country through grey market. It was only in 2002 that this SUV got introduced in the USA. It was christened G-500 and fitted with a V-8 engine.

Combining Off-Road Capabilities with Comfort and Safety

mercedes-benz-g-class-1

The development of the G-class started in early 70’s when the two companies namely Daimler-Benz and Steyr Daimler Puch started collaborating to design a vehicle that had off-road capabilities but also stood high on safety and comfort. It took years of designing and production with a prototype used to test the off-road abilities in coalfields of Germany and the Sahara desert.

Not many people are aware of the fact that the first of the G-Wagen produced by the company was delivered by the company to the Vatican City where it became the popemobile in honor of the then pope. This particular vehicle, once it retired from the service of the Pope, was permanently shifted to the museum of the company in Stuttgart in Germany. Thousands of people come to take a glance at this revered automobile widely known as The Papa-G.

One of the Oldest Surviving Vehicles in the Stable of Mercedes-Benz

mercedes-benz-g-class-2

Today, G-class from Mercedes is like a living legend, being manufactured by the company even after 37 long years. It is undoubtedly a tribute to the engineering and design of this automobile. However, the company has tried its best to make sure that this aging vehicle remains modern and stylish by changing the engine and replacing it with a more powerful and racy one.

There are glaring changes made in the exteriors of this SUV as well to make it competitive with other modern SUVs. One of the reasons why this vehicle is still going strong is because of the desire of the wealthy people to get some more in the form of off road capabilities from this model.

G-class is a good automobile with ample space for the driver and the passengers. Not a lot of space to stretch out but not so small to get you cramped for space. This can be a drawback for many consumers given the fact that there are lots of SUVs available in the market at much lower price that are offering more space to the passengers.

There are many people too who feel that the SUV has been made too high for the owners by Mercedes. It might be a good idea to have better visibility but it is a little awkward for average height individuals to step in and out of this automobile.

Despite its limitations that have become more glaring because of the passage of time and development of advanced automobiles, G-class still sells in high numbers.

2017 Toyota Highlander Will Get Stop-Start Function

toyota-highlander-3

2017 Toyota Highlander Limited Platinum edition. (Photo via Autoblog)

The stop-start technology is nothing new in the world of cars and SUVs. However, Toyota hasn’t introduced the feature yet in its North American vehicles. All that is about to change as the 2017 Toyota Highlander will come equipped with that system.

Simply put, the stop-start technology works by shutting off the engine of the vehicle when it is stationary. Brian Williams of Toyota explained that the integration of the function in their vehicles will allow the Highlander to have a fuel efficiency of one mile per gallon. It will also improve the EPA fuel economy of the SUV.

Even after turning off the engine, the stop-start functionally will still feed electric supply to the vehicle for at least two-minutes during a complete halt or when stopped under a traffic light. The engine is configured to be turned on by default every ignition cycle. Customers can choose to manually shut it off though with a push of a button. The auto stop-start operation is overridden too when the air conditioning unit of the auto is at a maximum or on a grade higher than eight degrees.

Williams revealed that more Toyota models will get the stop-start technology after the Highlander. However, he remained mum though about the specific models that will get it. The report claimed that the larger vehicles of the brand will most probably have it because those are the ones that could benefit more from it. The upcoming 2018 Toyota Sienna is a likely recipient of the system.

Williams estimated that around 85 percent of all 2017 Toyota Highlander SUVs will get the stop-start tech. He added eight percent of the Highlanders that will be sold to customers this year will be the LE trim while seven percent will come from the hybrid variants of the range.

Previewing The 2017 Volkswagen Touareg

2016 volkswagen touareg

Volkswagen just announced a series of updates for the 2017 edition of the Touareg SUV. The big differences can be seen in the interior details since the V6-powered midsize SUV will unfortunately remain unchanged mechanically at least.

It is renamed the Wolfsburg Edition, and includes a variety of upgrades, according to a report. The mid-level Lux trim level includes these features for 2017: a new brushed aluminum trim inside, stainless steel for the door entry sills and pedals, black headliner, standard heated and ventilated front seats, choice of all-black interior or two-tone Vienna leather seating, and contrast stitching on floor mats, steering wheel and shifter.

A Wolfsburg Edition badge is, of course, also included in the update.

For the wheels, Volkswagen Touareg Wolfsburg Edition buyers can opt between the 20-inch “Tarragona” alloy wheels with a diamond-turned finish or the 20-inch “Mallory” wheels finished in all black. In terms of trim level, another one exists just below the Wolfsburg Edition—the Sport with Technology Package trim level.

For the 2017 model, the Sport with Technology Package trim level includes the following: adaptive cruise control, a lane change assist system, forward collision warning with automatic braking, park distance control, and a heated steering wheel.

If you want something more from the mid-size SUV, you can splurge on the Executive trim level, which, above all of the mentioned upgrades, adds 21-inch alloy wheels.

However, if you’re expecting some upgrades under the hood, you’ll be sorely disappointed as the 2017 Touareg will share the same powertrain as its predecessor. All Touaregs will remain powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

For now, Volkswagen has yet to release details and pricing for the 2017 Touareg, so you have to check back for that. No images have also been revealed, unfortunately, so we have to be contented with some classic renderings.

Rolls Royce’s SUV Is A Daily Car, Not A Monster Truck

rolls royce phantom prototype

There were rumors that Rolls Royce’s new 4×4 SUV was going to be a monster truck. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. BMW’s design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said that it would be “daunting” to build an SUV for RR.

He promised in an interview though that Rolls Royce’s new 4×4 will be “a truly special car,” and that it won’t be a monster truck.

This is certainly good news for everyone who thought that RR’s Project Cullinan would be going toward the direction of building an SUV monster truck. Project Cullinan can be previewed through the Phantom prototype seen in these photos.

The “not monster truck” design has already been approved, and it will assuredly be one drivers can use as an everyday car.

Hooydonk explained that there are a lot of considerations need to be made when building a new model for RR. When the brand started, it had huge wheels that covered a lot of ground clearance because they were used by the Maharajas to travel from Europe to the Far East.

Back then, car companies have yet to categorize cars into sedans, SUVs or trucks. They were just cars, Hooydonk said. Roads back then weren’t smooth, too, so Rolls was built on that premise.

The idea for the new 4×4 is not to interpret the old Maharaja car. Rather, it will be built on the idea that RR cars were used for daily activities across rough roads.

What Hooydonk plans for the 4×4 is to completely move it away from the predicament RR has—that they are too elegant and too sophisticated to be driven. For this “SUV,” Royce wants something that drivers will want to use, instead of to look at only.

To do this, Rolls decides to sit the model on an all-new aluminum space frame structure, which is currently undergoing road testing to ensure a perfectly capable driving experience.

The result? Hooydonk hopes it’s an all-terrain SUV that is fun to drive every day, but not a monster truck, that has a likely V12 engine and the “magic carpet ride.”

Mercedes-Benz To Introduce Four Electric Vehicles By 2020

mercedes-benz glc fuel cell

Mercedes-Benz is looking at releasing four electric vehicles by the end of the year 2020. Sources said the company will be producing two sedans and two SUVs to comprise the first tranche of electronically powered vehicles Merc is looking at developing.

Each electric vehicle model will share the basic elements of models already part of Merc’s current lineup, but the company also promised that the models will have distinct designs to set them apart from their conventionally powered counterparts.

This move came on the heels of the German government’s announcement of sales subsidies for all EVs priced at less than €60,000, or $67,150 based on current exchange rate.

This German government policy is part of the bigger scheme to attract would-be buyers to consider EVs instead of gasoline- or diesel-powered engines.

Of course, such a decision from Merc can also be seen as the company’s attempt to keep up with the fast-rising EV market, something other automakers have taken advantage of in the past months. Tesla Model 3’s 370,000 orders certainly made an impact.

Merc has reportedly taken a €500 million expansion of their existing battery production facilities in Germany to prepare for their EV plans.

Although not a surprise, Merc’s move is still a welcome development. There are no details released regarding this new direction the company is taking, but R&D chief Thomas Weber hinted that the current C-Class and S-Class models, as well as the GLA and GLC SUVs, will be the templates for the four EVs planned.

In particular, the GLA-based SUV model will tap the reworked version of the MFA platform that Merc is already using on its B-Class Electric Drive, which is technically Mercedes’ first EV. The other three models, on the other hand, will probably use the evolved version of the MRA, which was developed particularly for electronic vehicles.

Spy Shots Reveal the 2017 Peugeot 3008

peugot 3008 (7)

We are now seeing the new 2016 Peugeot 3008 ahead of the September 2016 Paris Auto Show, where it is scheduled to have its world debut. For this year’s 3008, the French automaker decided to drop the minivan body style and embrace the SUV bandwagon. So, say a long and sad goodbye to the 3008 minivan because we will be seeing the last of its production run.

The second-generation 3008 looks like a better compact crossover SUV than most of the models we now see in the market. The exterior design in the spy shots appears to be based on Peugeot’s Quartz concept that was unveiled in 2014. On the other hand, its interior is probably derived from the same EMP2 platform used in the French auto’s 308 compact hatchback.

The interior is going to be upgraded as proven by the new spy shots revealed of the 3008. It will be getting a new digital instrument cluster in front of the new steering wheel, which is similar to the Peugeot 308.

The reason for the more elegant interior is Peugeot’s aim to be recognized apart from its rivals.

Reportedly, the new 3008 will have a couple of powertrain options. There’s a range of turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines. In particular, the 2017 model will have the 1.2-liter three-cylinder petrol that features in the 308 SW.

However, the new 3008 will not carry the diesel hybrid, which was recently dropped from the current 3008 range. What it would probably have is the petrol plug-in hybrid.

You can opt to pair these engines with either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Combine these engines and transmission choices to either a front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, then you’ve got yourself quite a good crossover SUV.

Peugeot will start delivering the new 3008 in early 2017 in markets where the French brand is available.

Peugeot is looking to rival Ford Motor Company’s Kuga (sold as the Escape in the United States), the Nissan Qashqai, Renault Kadjar and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Updated 2017 Subaru Forester Is A Bargain

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester made a name for itself in the past years, especially with the completely revised 2014 version. For next year, Forester is getting a few updates for a mere $200 on top of the current prices according to a report.

It’s a bargain from Subaru considering that the 2017 Forester is getting these slew of new features: a revised front grille, bumper, and new headlights.

Also upgraded is the EyeSight system. It now includes a Lane Keep Assist while Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Reverse Automatic Braking have become standard.

In particular, the Forester 2.0XT Touring offers an available Active Torque Vectoring system.

Basically, we can expect everything in the 2014 Forester being carried over, except it’s so much better. The engines and transmissions remain unchanged, too.

Base models still get the 2.5-liter flat-four mated to a six-speed manual transmission, which is good for 170 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque. CVT is optional.

There’s the more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four engine too that is capable of 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. If you want the turbo, you have to choose the CVT option.

Trim levels still include 2.5i, Premium, Limited, and Touring for the 2.5-liter while the more-upscale 2.0-liter turbo is adorned with the Premium and Touring trims.

In all, the new Forester is a kill in terms of performance, although you have to look pass the very generic exterior.

There are a few changes on the front end—grille, lower fascia, and the headlights with LED accents main beams. The taillights also have that C-shaped LED element to tie it together with the headlights.

On certain trim levels, there are new alloy wheel designs that contribute to the Forester’s more mature and sculpted look.

Both wheel designs have a high-contrast black and machined finish look. The 2.5i Premium models get the 17-inch wheels while the 2.0XT receives the 18-inch rollers.

The base model 2.5i starts at $22,595 while the 2.0XT Touring begins at $33,295, both including an $850 destination charge.

Choosing the CVT in either the 2.5i or 2.5i Premium costs $1,000 or $500 more, respectively. Otherwise, the CVT’s cost is included in the other 2.5i trim packages.

Spy Shots Of 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Sport are Out

2018 land rover range rover sport svr (2)

Spy shots revealed that Land Rover is currently working to update its Range Rover Sport for a 2018 launch. This was proven when photos were taken of the new Range Rover Sport roaming in camouflaged prototypes in Europe.

This is an upgrade car experts have been talking about for months as rumors fly around the industry of a new Range Rover Sport getting ready to wow us all. It will likely be the second-generation model’s mid-cycle update, so the changes will be minimal.

As revealed in the prototype, the model has a new bumper design and a new shape for air intakes and license plate support.

The spy shots also revealed revised grille surround and a more likely new hood, one that would probably fit the revised grille in terms of design.

So, how did we know the prototype we just saw is for the 2018 model year? The second-generation Range Rover Sport was released back in 2014. The original model had a lifespan of eight years. Assuming the second-gen model has the same lifespan, this prototype—an updated model—is just in time for a 2018 model year.

Of course, we should also take note that a 2016 Range Rover Sport was just announced, and it received a number of updates such as a new diesel-powered HSE Td6 variant and some new technologies for the cabin.

The same updates you’re currently seeing here are set to be the same ones that are going to be installed in the flagship Range Rover SUV, the current generation of which was launched a year before the second-generation Range Rover Sport.

Speaking of that, the high-performance Range Rover Sport SVR was also spotted in updated form.

More details are bound to come out as developments continue, and as Land Rover tests more of these prototypes on the road.

Source: Motor Authority

Audi To Launch 300-Mile Fully Electric SUV In 2018

audi electric suv

It’s that time of the year again when Audi starts churning out reports on deliveries—said to be 1.8 million cars in 2015 and 620,100 in the first quarter of this year)—as well as big investment plans for the future. Prospective plans will start at €3billion in property and technology in 2016.

Then, of course, there’s also news of a new car. Audi revealed it will begin launching a new EV every year starting 2018. The initial plan is to launch a sporty SUV that claims to have a range of more than 500 kilometers (310.69 miles). That’s more than what the Tesla Model S, which currently stands at a highway range of 303.2 miles, can do. That is according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But this isn’t much of a surprise since Audi announced at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show the arrival of the E-ton Quattro Concept, which will be in production in a few months’ time. What’s even better is that the production car will be patterned perfectly after the concept, which will have two electric motors—one for each axle with a combined 503bhp.

Audi also claims it would have 4.6 secs to 62 mph, 131 mph and that 310-mile range.

Although this isn’t a surprising development, it’s still nice to see Audi keeping its word.

Audi hinted of a new A8 too, which would be one of the 20 “new or upgraded” Audis to come out this year. The A8 is going to be the first car in the brand’s history capable of “piloted driving.”

Details are not exactly out there yet, but it looks like the A8 will be able to drive itself temporarily on motorways at speeds of up to 37 mph—a technology already available in the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It remains to be seen how Audi is going to utilize this same technology on its cars.

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