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Posts Tagged ‘fast and dangerous’

Another e-tron: Audi e-tron Sportback to Be Brand’s Second EV

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Audi e-tron Sportback conceptAudi e-tron Sportback concept

As a subsequent step in a devise to confederate some-more foundation into a now diesel-devoid lineup, Audi is doubling adult on battery-powered SUVs. Audi has announced that a e-tron Sportback concept, that debuted during this year’s Shanghai automobile show, will go into prolongation in 2019. It will follow a just-plain e-tron, a incomparable electric crossover due in 2018.

The tenure e-tron has been messily thrown around during Audi and has seemed on a far-reaching accumulation of car types. The initial time a e-tron moniker was practical to a car was the R8 e-tron concept behind in 2009. The thought of a all-electric supercar was bandied about for years before finally entering prolongation for a 2016 indication year usually to be canceled roughly immediately. During that time span, Audi introduced dual plug-in-hybrid vehicles: a A3 e-tron and a Q7 e-tron, both of that are still on sale in Europe. The A3 Sportback e-tron is accessible in a U.S.; a Q7 e-tron is not.

Audi e-tron Sportback conceptAudi e-tron Sportback concept

The initial time e-tron stood alone as a possess indication name was in 2015 during a Frankfurt automobile show, where Audi introduced a e-tron Quattro concept. This all-electric SUV was a predecessor to a indication headed for prolongation subsequent year.

Just to keep things confusing, Audi also has g-tron, h-tron, and e-gas vehicles, though those have opposite powertrains, so we won’t go into any of that here.

Meanwhile, a e-tron Sportback judgment uses a 429-hp electric drivetrain with dual motors in a back and one adult front, along with a 95-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Audi claims it could yield adult to 310 miles of operation on a singular charge, with an choice for a 30-minute discerning assign that would feed some-more than 200 miles of range. Those, however, are numbers for a concept, and there’s no acknowledgment or serve sum about a powertrain that will be put into production.

If we followed all of that, get yourself an e-drink. You merit it.

EtronSportbackREELEtronSportbackREEL


How a EV Tax Credit Works

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

To take advantage of taxation credits now being offering on a squeeze of electric or hybrid vehicles, first—obviously—you must buy or franchise an electric automobile or a plug-in hybrid for your possess personal use.

If it’s an EV, a intensity taxation credit can be factored into a lease, so we can advantage though undisguised purchase. Some franchise deals let we pointer over a volume of a taxation credit during a time of signing in sell for a reduced down remuneration and reduce monthly franchise payments; check with your play to see if that is a box for a automobile we wish to lease.

You contingency place a automobile in use during a taxation year for which you’re claiming a credit. If you’re buying, we need to be prepared to financial a full, pre-credit volume of a vehicle. You might wish to see your taxation confidant to time a purchase. There is no income top to explain a credit, though you’ll need sufficient taxation guilt for a year—in other words, a credit is an volume lopped off a income taxation we owe; if a volume we owe is reduction than a credit amount, we won’t get a full value of a credit.

How Much Will a Credit Be?
A bottom $2500 credit accrues to electrified vehicles, that are EVs or plug-in hybrids, not unchanging hybrids. Vehicles that are “propelled to a poignant border by an electric motor”—defined as carrying battery-pack capacities of during slightest 5 kilowatt-hours—qualify for an additional $417, and $417 for any 1-kWh boost in battery capacity, adult to a limit of $7500 per vehicle. So, for example, a automobile with a 6-kWh battery container would acquire $2500 as a bottom amount, an additional $417 for assembly a 5-kWh threshold, and another $417 for leading that threshold by 1 kWh; sum credit: $3334. But don’t worry, you’re not compulsory to do a math. The IRS does it for you, with a relapse of a credit for any make and model here.

The Phase-Out
The government’s offer of a taxation credit is dictated to end eventually. That will occur during a opposite time for any automaker, with a phase-out duration commencement once any manufacturer hits 200,000 plug-in vehicles sold. By some estimates, including a new projection, Tesla and General Motors will get there first, in 2018, with Nissan expected to strike that series in 2019.

Figuring your possess potential tax credit will need serve research, since additional incentives might be accessible in your state. By doing your task and being aware of a timing of your purchase, you could see a large payoff.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan First Drive: The Tig Goes Big

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

In a try to justice U.S. buyers, Volkswagen has attempted on distance big—the spacious, made-for-America versions of a Jetta and Passat sedans—and distance tall—the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs. Both approaches have found churned success on a shores. Now VW finally has figured out that we Americans like a cars vast and tall.

A renewed SUV pull is now underway to try to make adult for mislaid time, starting with a three-row Atlas and stability with a second-generation Tiguan that’s extremely bigger than a Euro-centric predecessor. The new, bigger Tig now is one of a largest entries in a compact-crossover segment, with a 185.1-inch length surpassing a aged Tiguan’s by scarcely an whole feet and eclipsing pivotal rivals such as a Honda CR-V, a Toyota RAV4, and a Nissan Rogue by several inches.

Long and Strong

We’re removing a long-wheelbase chronicle of a new Tiguan in a States (there’s a short-wheelbase chronicle already on sale in Europe), and it’s sweeping adequate that VW saw fit to offer a third quarrel of seats, a monument in this class. The Rogue and a Mitsubishi Outlander are a usually other crossovers this distance that can lay explain to seven-passenger capacity, and those claims are dubious—as anyone who has attempted to things a newcomer over five-feet high into their third rows will understand.

As in a size-XL Atlas, a Tiguan’s wrapping is a clever suit. Yes, a third quarrel works best as a kids-only zone, yet adults will fit in a pinch. The ample second quarrel is an generally good place to spend time. It reclines, slides front and aft, and facilities well-sculpted stuffing in further to atmosphere vents and a USB port. All front-wheel-drive Tiguans come with 7 seats, yet a third quarrel is a $500 choice on all-wheel-drive models. (Blame a feds for that uncanny anomaly: Front-drive models need a third quarrel in sequence to be personal as a light truck; all-wheel-drive versions don’t.)

Dulled Dynamics

The pivotal downside to a new Tiguan’s ballooning distance is that it loses a previous-generation’s Golf-on-stilts character, that done it one of a some-more interesting tiny crossovers to drive. The new Tiguan is reduction eager. It rides gently and rolls extremely in corners; even yet it shares a simple MQB skeleton with a fabulous-driving seventh-generation Golf, a multiple of a Tiguan’s additional weight contra that automobile and a loose tuning of a primary controls removes a substantial grade of responsiveness from a chassis. The electrically assisted steering shelve is overboosted and lacks on-center feel, turn-in is lazy, and a stop pedal is a bit mushy. Volkswagen clearly prioritized still comfort over athleticism, and a Tiguan marks true down a turnpike and facilities a still and plush ride, qualities that will greatfully family-minded shoppers.

The Tiguan’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine has been updated and now uses a some-more fit explosion routine that’s a mutated chronicle of a Miller cycle. There’s a tasty torque plateau in a four-cylinder’s midrange, yet a engine note is gritty, and a response off a line is indolent due to some turbo loiter and a long-travel accelerator pedal. With a premonition that we gathering a Tiguan exclusively during high elevations in Colorado, a engine ran out of steam aloft in a rev operation and a eight-speed involuntary is delayed to downshift, creation flitting or merging a rather stretched proposition. The new engine left us wishing for some arrange of ascent with some-more power, yet this 2.0T is a usually choice for now. And given a explosion tech, we’re unhappy that a turbo 4 isn’t means to broach some-more rival EPA numbers: The Tiguan’s 24-mpg total rating falls 6 mpg brief of a CR-V’s with a some-more eager and some-more absolute 1.5-liter turbo four.

All Grown Up

If a new Tiguan isn’t utterly as fun amatory as before, it is during slightest extremely some-more mature in a aesthetic. Its easily creased, squared-off demeanour is among a some-more appreciative designs in a class. The interior, too, rises to a tip finish of a segment: The dashboard looks and feels upscale, with clearly orderly HVAC and audio controls and a large, crisp-looking 8.0-inch touchscreen arrangement in all yet a bottom S trim, that gets a 6.5-inch screen. The leatherette upholstery found in SE and SEL models is convincing, while a tip SEL Premium gets genuine hides and a high-tech, configurable digital sign cluster that’s not distant off from Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system. The accessibility of active-safety facilities isn’t utterly as widespread as in a CR-V, yet VW does offer forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring as customary on SE models and above (and discretionary on a S).

While a bottom Tiguan S has an appealing starting cost of $26,245—that’s reduction than a three-row Rogue—the better-equipped trim levels can get pricey, generally when we supplement $1300 for 4MOTION. The pretty versed SE indication with 4MOTION all-wheel expostulate and yet a third quarrel runs $31,280 and is substantially a best value, yet to get apparatus such as a energy liftgate, a breathtaking sunroof, or remote start, we have to compensate only over $33,000 for a SEL. The SEL Premium approaches $40,000 with all a options, during that indicate we competence start looking during an Audi Q5 or a many incomparable Atlas. For those who can’t stomach those costs, or for those who wish to have some-more fun in their VW crossover, a effusive Tiguan will sojourn on sale for a few some-more years as a Tiguan Limited, presumably with a extremely ignored bottom price.

For others looking for a ample compress crossover SUV, though, this full-figured Tiguan’s cost reward will be equivalent by a perfect volume of automobile we get for a money. While we competence lamentation a detriment of a clarity of pushing pleasure, we know because Volkswagen remade this tiny crossover into a spacious, gentle cruiser. The Tiguan now meets a wants and needs of shoppers in a segment, many of whom will take space over gait any day.

The Prince of Parsimony: Squeezing 70 MPG from a Chevy Cruze Diesel

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel

This is a elementary hypermiling test. Take a 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Diesel, spin off a A/C, keep a windows rolled up, get on a California freeway, set a journey control during 55 mph (10 mph underneath a limit), and see what arrange of fuel economy results. Touch a brakes and stifle as small as possible, and lapse with a mileage number.

In May, we published an instrumented exam of a scarcely matching Cruze Diesel automatic and reported on how it achieved on C/D‘s common highway fuel-economy loop—200 miles during 75 mph over a Michigan flatlands. As Joseph Capparella reported, that Cruze returned a thick 52 mpg, delivering a kick down to a Toyota Prius by a 6-mpg domain on a loop designed to be a “real world” test, not optimized for ultimate parsimoniousness. This time, we (by that we meant me) would indeed try to get good mileage.

So we acquired a Cruze Diesel sedan most matching to what Capparella had reviewed. Both had a 137-hp, aluminum turbo-diesel 1.6-liter inline-four, both wore 16-inch wheels wrapped in Goodyear tires, and both had a discretionary nine-speed involuntary transmission.

2017-Chevrolet-Cruze-Diesel-1022017-Chevrolet-Cruze-Diesel-102

On a ninth day of June, a Friday, a slate-gray Cruze was filled during siphon 5 during a Winchester 76 in Goleta, California. The tank was surfaced off until a involuntary stop on a siphon hoop snapped itself off twice (in between, it was left to rest for 10 seconds while fuel staid in a tank). Winchester 76 was selected since it pumps diesel, it’s during a distant northern corner of a Santa Barbara civil area over a strech of expected trade jams, there was a good downhill entrance onto a northbound lanes of a US 101 freeway, and it’s tighten to where we live.

I started pushing during 1:30 p.m., there was no wind, and a heat was 72 degrees. Barely touching a throttle, we let a automobile get to 55 mph as solemnly as it could. Once during 55, we intent a Cruze’s journey control, started personification a Tony Kornheiser Show podcast on my iPhone, and didn’t get off a turnpike until a Traffic Way exit in Arroyo Grande about 77 miles later. After pushing by Arroyo Grande, we feather-footed it behind onto a turnpike southbound. And during 55 mph we re-engaged a Cruze’s cruise. C’est La Cheeserie.

Except for a stop in Santa Maria during Central Coast Hot Rods and a late lunch in adjacent Orcutt, we stranded to my turnpike troll. Back during a Winchester 76, we pulled a Cruze behind adult to siphon 5 and again refilled a tank with diesel following a aforementioned procession permitted by C/D‘s tech wizards.

2017-Chevrolet-Cruze-Diesel-1072017-Chevrolet-Cruze-Diesel-107

The pushing experience? Utter, tedious misery. Headed northbound, we was upheld by clapped-out aged Hondas, a Ferrari FF and a McLaren 570GT drifting in formation, and trucks hauling built junkers. And on a approach south, a ’64 Ford Fairlane blew by me. we usually once had to slow, for a timidly driven Nissan Altima. The movement complement in a Cruze works good with atmosphere conditioning, though with A/C off a interior got gummy and stinky with Pearley sweat.

While this prolonged territory of a 101 turnpike is easily trafficked, it has geographic challenges. There’s a prolonged class skyward south of Nojoqui Falls, and a highway snakes adult and down along a foothills that support a Santa Ynez Valley. You wish tedious photos? I’ve got tedious photos of fuel going into a gray Cruze.

The bottom line: we started this outing with 3346 miles display on a odometer, and it finished with 3505. The outing odometer showed 159.0 miles. It took 2.257 gallons according to siphon 5 to fill a automobile behind up. The math is simple, though a outcome is astonishing. This works out to a gob-smacking 70 mpg. we was awaiting 60 or maybe 65 mpg.

2017-Chevrolet-Cruze-Diesel-1092017-Chevrolet-Cruze-Diesel-109

I outline to copiousness of caveats here. The expostulate relied on a Cruze self-reporting a odometer, there are expected most improved ways to magnitude how most fuel was consumed, and no one from C/D’s moment tech staff was on palm to supplement some refinement and magnificence to a exercise. This is back-of-the-envelope scholarship achieved by a man with a Poli Sci grade from UC Santa Barbara. And notwithstanding all that . . . 70 mpg is an epic number. The central fuel ability is 13.7 gallons, so go forward and try to compare it. You should be means to knowledge impassioned dullness for some-more than 900 miles before wanting to refuel.

The supertrick elements during play here are a turbo-diesel’s superb prosaic torque bend that peaks during 240 lb-ft during usually 2000 rpm and a far-reaching widespread of gears in a Ford and GM co-developed 9T50 nine-speed automatic. Despite using a high 3.17:1 final-drive ratio, a engine was means to stay in a low overdrive of ninth rigging most a whole trip. That kept engine speed during a unaffected 1500 rpm roughly a whole trip. The one time a delivery shifted down was climbing a prolonged Nojoqui Grade, and even afterwards it usually rose to a 2000-rpm torque peak.

There’s copiousness to impugn about a Cruze Diesel, as forked out in that progressing full highway test. The float is unforgiving, a doing is uninspiring, and it’s not roomy. But a fuel mileage—EPA-rated during 31 mpg in a city and 47 mpg on a highway—is stunning. Hybrids—including Chevy’s possess Volt—will kick a potency in stop-and-go traffic, where regenerative braking and batteries give them a clear edge. But for constant-speed highway commutes? Diesel kicks ass. In light of Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions debacle, it’s controversial either diesel newcomer cars have a destiny in America.

But . . . 70 mpg.

CRUZEDREELCRUZEDREEL

Pole Vault: Volvo’s Polestar to Become Dedicated Electrified Performance Brand

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

 

Polestar announces new government group to rise electrified opening code for Volvo Cars

Polestar announces new government group to rise electrified opening code for Volvo Cars

The days of Rebel Blue Volvo wagons swilling gasoline and squirting oil into spinning turbos might be about to end. Volvo’s opening arm, Polestar, will now operative an wholly new lineup of electrified vehicles that won’t wear a Volvo name.

Without divulgence what a puzzling double-arrow trademark represents, Volvo assures speed freaks that a new Polestar will be a “high opening automobile company” and continue to cgange gas-powered models underneath a Polestar Engineered label. In a press release, Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson says that Polestar “will be a convincing aspirant in a rising tellurian marketplace for high opening electrified cars.” Take that to meant Volvo is sharpened for Tesla and other electric upstarts that preference supercar-punching acceleration.

Volvo’s press recover uses corporate buzzwords like “synergies” and “bespoke” to report a destiny attribute between Polestar and a parent. Like Genesis and Hyundai, a dual will share chassis, electronics, and several pieces with one another, nonetheless how distant Polestar distances itself from Volvo’s stellar extraneous and interior designs is adult for discussion. But they should be only as beautiful, as pattern arch Thomas Ingenlath will lead a new association as CEO. Volvo did not contend if Ingenlath would stay in his stream purpose or if it would continue to build EVs underneath a possess name. Possibly, each plug-in indication could be eliminated to Polestar’s domain. Without speculating further, we’ll have to wait until a fall, when Volvo promises to yield some-more details.

2016 Volvo S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar

2016 Volvo S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar

This is not utterly a startle it would be if Mercedes-AMG or BMW M ditched inner combustion, though a Polestar code has finished Volvo ring among a tiny crowds who like 362-hp Swedish wagons on summer tires. With origins in Volvo’s motorsports group given 1996, Polestar grown championship-winning versions of a 850, S40, S60, and C30 for several European furloughed automobile series. Volvo purchased Polestar undisguised in 2015, and aside from low-volume, hot-rod specials like a S60 and V60 Polestar, a multiplication has finished a sprightly business reflashing ECUs and affixing a splendid blue badge on differently batch Volvos.

The company’s news recover about Polestar’s destiny does not pronounce to a purpose of a racing team, that was recently renamed Cyan Racing and has remained underneath a instruction of Christian Dahl, who had owned Polestar from 2004 until Volvo acquired it.

Gambler 500 Offers Cheap Excuse to Off-Road a 1983 Toyota Camry

Friday, June 23rd, 2017

The 1983 Toyota Camry LE

The 1983 Toyota Camry LE
Built for a life of grocery getting and highway cruising, a 1983 Toyota Camry LE my crony Gus and we had bought for $500 was now rumbling over off-road trails in northern Michigan. Considering a automobile is authorised for an antique permit plate, it had been doing this new life with startling aplomb. Until we attempted to force it by a tiny pool of station water.

Gus was pushing as we headed true for a 25-yard-long brownish-red puddle, and we yelled for him to wait and reconsider. We all stopped—Gus and we in a Camry, and his fraternal twin, Guy, who had been following us in a 1991 Buick Roadmaster with a friend. As distant as we knew, this heavily wooded trail was a usually track to a campsite where hundreds of crap cars were to accumulate as partial of a Detroit Gambler 500, a reason we were in this situation: Two guys in a rusty front-wheel-drive four-door hatchback with off-road tags, hopping by silt and sand trails, chased by a Buick Roadmaster leaking a track of oil we could have followed behind to a road.

A 1991 Buick Roadmaster before to entering a Detroit Gambler 500.

A 1991 Buick Roadmaster before to entering a Detroit Gambler 500.

Always Be Gambling

The crux of a Gambler 500 is this: Find a automobile for $500 and play on a odds it will make it by dual days of adversity. Although a “requirement” is that entrants spend $500 or reduction on a automobile or truck, coercion isn’t rigid. Those who already owned an off-road automobile could, presumably, uncover adult in it. And some did usually that.

But a hint of a Gambler 500 is to send inexpensive or lost vehicles on imperishable misadventures. “Always Be Gambling” is a tagline. “The reduction able a better,” pronounced Tate Morgan, who founded a strange Gambler 500 in Oregon in 2014 and now oversees some 30 loosely orderly events nationwide.

“Cadillacs in batch form are a long-lived favorite,” Morgan said. “I have a Crown Vic and a Miata parked subsequent to my residence right now, and we consider those dual are glorious choices since they’re rear-wheel drive, so we can have fun during any speed.” He pronounced he has also found success with a Nissan NX (with T-tops) and a Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Gambler Caddy

Gambler Caddy

Keep It Free

Only 14 vehicles participated in a initial Gambler 500, that ran by a dried and towering landscape of eastern Oregon. But a traffic-jamming 411 cars and trucks purebred for a new Detroit Gambler 500. Morgan credits a sudden arise in popularity—he expects even some-more cars for a subsequent Oregon Gambler 500—to a YouTube video that was noticed millions of times when posted on a a sponsor’s Facebook page.

Morgan’s strange prophesy for a eventuality enclosed 3 primary elements: a navigation component, off-roading, and inexpensive or engaging cars. These aspects did not all exist together in any other singular car-culture event—at slightest they didn’t on a cheap. So Morgan pronounced an critical aspect of a Gambler 500, now a purebred LLC and trademarked, is that it stays giveaway to enter.

“So even that bad 25-year-old child who works during McDonald’s can move his Geo Metro out,” he said.

The Detroit edition was combined by Tom Nardone, a businessman famous locally for a accumulation of illusory and munificent pursuits such as initial a lawnmower squad that cleans adult city parks pro bono. Easily bored, Nardone pronounced he was meditative of streamer to Burning Man this year though didn’t wish to spend an whole week divided from his mother and kids. He founded a Detroit Gambler instead.

“This thing pronounced that if we wish to do your possess Gambler, usually do it,” Nardone said. He emailed a website and was given capitulation an hour later. “[Morgan] pronounced a usually thing is, it has to be free.”

Nardone floated a eventuality on amicable media, and seductiveness was roughly alarming. On a Facebook eventuality page, some-more than 1200 people affianced to attend. Nardone and Morgan opted to “let it ride,” Nardone said. “Once we figure we got 100 or 200 cars, 400 is not an sequence of bulk different.”

Gambler 500

Gambler 500

A Caravan of Weirdos 

Following Gambler tradition, Nardone expelled GPS coordinates and waypoints for a track on a morning of a event. Hundreds of cars and trucks, many carelessly embellished and infrequently decorated, collected in a northern Detroit suburb of Troy on Saturday, Apr 29. That’s where we initial assessed a Camry’s competition.

My personal favorites were a car-to-pickup conversions (carried out with varying degrees of welding ability), such as a Honda Accord, a Saturn SL2, and a Chevrolet Malibu. They all had been hacked somewhere around a B- or C-pillar and incited into open-bed rigs. Some totally able off-roaders also showed adult in four-by-four trucks that would infer really useful later.

Nardone’s track wove past Detroit civic sights such as a former Packard plant and afterwards headed into a wilds. A whole train of oddball vehicles streamed adult Interstate 75 toward state land nearby Houghton Lake, about 175 miles to the north.

Gambler 500

Gambler 500

“Power” Mode

The initial off-road track on a Detroit Gambler 500 track was sandy. Gus and we sent a Camry into it with childlike consternation and ignorance. We had exam run a aged FWD automobile with batch tires in a chewed-up alley behind Gus’s residence in a city of Hamtramck nearby Detroit, despite during low speeds, and concluded that it substantially indispensable new shocks. We did zero to pill this. But once off-road, it was surprisingly capable. A 1983 C/D instrumented exam of a Camry noted:

“There’s even something notable dark divided low within a Camry’s behind suspension. A devalue top-bush­ing arrangement feeds open loads by one track and shock-absorber army by another. The pattern outlines a entrance trend that will concede fin­er tuning for softened float comfort.”

At a circle when we entered a sandy trail, we done certain a three-mode selector on a 34-year-old involuntary delivery was set to Power rather than Economy or Normal. C/D had remarkable this mode selector as another newness when this entirely installed Camry was new:

“In a Normal position, a electronic mind chooses a possess concede of comfort, fuel economy, and acceleration performance. If a motorist selects a Power mode, upshifts start during roughly 15 percent aloft rpm.”

Renault Gambler

Renault Gambler

Traffic Jam in a Sand

We didn’t get really distant into a silt track before there was a large traffic jam. We stopped a Camry and got out to consult a situation. Some guys in a late-1990s Jeep Cherokee pronounced that usually four-wheel-drive vehicles were creation it by low silt on a spin adult ahead. They had already towed several cars and were going behind for more. Several Gamblers began to spin around, muttering that “no one’s ever gonna finish.” A identical view entered a automobile as dusk was sketch nearby and we had hardly tested a Camry’s ability set. We concluded to skip forward a bit on a designed waypoints and go directly to a GPS coordinate related to a track with “brown dirt” that we insincere would be some-more manageable. You know what they contend about “assume”?

At first, it was usually a Camry and a Roadmaster out in a woods, with a latter badly leaking oil after bottoming out on one of a jump-off tests on a petrify chunk in Detroit progressing in a day. What was primarily a delayed trickle would infer to be a Roadmaster killer.

We were no longer following the Detroit Gambler 500 executive route, though Morgan pronounced after that ideally a Gambler 500 spreads cars detached so contestants frequency see one another. Nardone told us following that one change he skeleton for subsequent year will be to residence gridlock on a trails by creation several events concurrent, swelling groups of Gamblers to opposite waypoints, all starting from a bottom on a executive campground. “A stranded front-wheel-drive automobile would reason adult 10 cars,” he pronounced of a initial event.

A Ford Ranger, indication year unknown, seen before a Gambler 500.

A Ford Ranger, indication year unknown, seen before a Gambler 500.

Flooded

We got stranded once in sand (using a draw strap, a Roadmaster simply pulled a Camry free) and another time in deep, soothing brownish-red dirt. But that 25-yard-long reservoir would infer to be too much. After staring during it for a few moments, Gus motionless to accumulate speed and conduct true through. Always Be Gambling, right? Gus got a automobile adult to 40 or 50 mph before entering a sand pool, during that indicate brownish-red H2O sprayed adult onto both sides of a automobile and splashed heavily onto a windshield. We got about three-quarters of a approach by a H2O before a Camry slowed, and a engine whined and afterwards died.

We suspicion a automobile was sinking, so we leapt from it as H2O flooded into its footwells. Gus wandered forward on a trail and detected a campsite, where he enlisted a assistance of a male with a late-model Ford F-150. The lorry simply pulled a Camry out while a small hatchback’s behind wiper swiped behind and onward as if in victory.

That win would be short-lived. The automobile usually went click-click-click when Gus incited a pivotal in a ignition. The good Samaritan in a F-150 towed us all a approach behind to a campsite. Several people suggested we take a hint plugs out and dry them off, though we figured we’d wait until morning. Mostly, we were tired.

Matt Nortier and Ryan Root were a 2017 Detroit Gambler 500 Grand Champions with their 1991 Ford Festiva GL .

Matt Nortier and Ryan Root were a 2017 Detroit Gambler 500 Grand Champions with their 1991 Ford Festiva GL .

Rest in Power, Roadmaster

On Sunday morning, after a rough night on a state-land campground that enclosed a one-wheel ramp for a some-more adventurous Gamblers, we attempted to start a Camry, and to my pleasure a engine attempted to fire. But it took maybe 10 cranks and some mashing on a gas pedal before it finally roared to life with a plume of white fume billowing from underneath a hood. The automobile had always been loud, though now it was generally throaty, sounding some-more like a lawnmower than a sedan. There was a array of hurdles designed for a day, such as a hill-climb and a speed test, though a organisation opted usually to conduct behind to Detroit.

By that point, a Roadmaster’s trickle was profuse. Guy bought several bottles of oil before we set out on I-75 Sunday morning, and we stopped intermittently to refill a crankcase. The automobile done it about 100 miles before a engine seized usually north of Flint, hometown of Buick. Guy unironically rolled it to an oil-change shop; a few days later, he sole a Roadmaster to a deliver yard for $50.

Camry—and Gambler—Live On

But a Camry lives. Maybe it will make it to subsequent year’s Detroit Gambler 500. Nardone pronounced seductiveness is already building. “I’m not certain how we stop this from apropos a 2000-car pileup,” he pronounced of a feedback he’s gotten post–Gambler 500. The Gambler 500 is roughly too most fun, we told him. How do we keep it from apropos too large or from attracting a courtesy of army that would wish to close it down?

Morgan pronounced a incomparable events will continue, though smaller, some-more niche ones will, too. And he remarkable that some Gamblers might select to put a top on entries, such as one in a Ozarks that set a extent of 75 vehicles. But as for shutting down Gambler 500s altogether, it is too late, he said, “because a thought already exists.”

2018 BMW 530d Touring Euro-Spec: More Unobtainium

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Although they are a singular steer in a United States, in Europe, hire wagons are a renouned partial of many manufacturers’ lineups. How that came about, during BMW during least, wasn’t around downright marketplace investigate though rather an after-hours project. Max Reisböck was a male responsible.

Back in a mid-1980s, Reisböck was a mid-ranking BMW operative undone by a inability of any of a company’s sedans to lift a outfit compulsory by his flourishing family. With a practicality you’d design from a German gearhead, he set about building his possess wagon, shopping an E30 318i sedan that had been concerned in a rear-end collision and converting it into his dream longroof transport. The routine was carried out in a friend’s garage and took 6 months, with a finished automobile impressing his colleagues adequate for a association to pointer off on a prolongation version.

Every 3-series from a E30 era leading has offering a station-wagon variant, as has each 5-series given a E34. But notwithstanding several attempts to sell Bimmers wearing backpacks to Americans, nothing has been utterly successful. Lack of direct for a stream 3-series Sports Wagon means it expected will be a final sole here. It’s a conditions that seems certain to repudiate us a latest 5-series automobile (Touring, in BMW parlance).

Matters of a Estate

We gathering a new 5-series Touring in a United Kingdom, that stays one of BMW’s biggest markets for hire wagons—or estate cars, as a Brits say. While flattering many all brazen of a C-pillar is common with a sedan, a Touring’s combined practicality and vast lines make it a utterly constrained proposition.

The latest iteration of a 5-series has grown incomparable and turn some-more essential than a predecessor, and that binds loyal for a Touring even some-more so than for a sedan. It’s not a largest luxo-hauler on a market, though it creates a box for being a best all-rounder.

Engine choices for a automobile are simplified somewhat compared with a European sedan, with 3 gasoline and 3 diesel powerplants. The 530i and 540i are mechanically matching to a eponymous U.S. sedans, definition a 248-hp inline-four and a 335-hp inline-six, both turbocharged. (There is also a four-cylinder 520i in some markets.) But it’s a 3 diesels that will harmonise many of a sales volume: an entry-level four-cylinder 187-hp 520d, a 228-hp 525d that uses a turned-up chronicle of a 520d’s turbocharged 2.0-liter, and finally a 530d with BMW’s new B57 turbocharged six-cylinder diesel that’s good for 261 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque. That’s a indication we drove, versed with a customary eight-speed involuntary gearbox and discretionary all-wheel drive.

This isn’t utterly as polished as a 530d sedan that shaped a prior entrance in a array on Cars European Automakers Deny Us. The Touring’s open luggage cell creates some-more interior volume for harmonic resonances to multiply in, and there’s a slight (but noticeable) boost in highway sound compared with a inside sedan. Similarly, a detriment of a structure behind a back seats has roughly positively led to reduced rigidity, and per BMW’s total a Touring weighs some 200 pounds more.

But such medium changes don’t unequivocally lessen a 5-series Touring. The diesel engine is all though stammering underneath peaceful acceleration, producing a agreeably robust sound with firmer stifle applications. The rise torque of 457 lb-ft is on rug and saluting during only 2000 rpm, and a adroitness with that a eight-speed automobile shuffles a ratios means it doesn’t need to be worked tough for fast progress. Only in extremis does a engine possess adult to a diesel origins, as it is demure to rev over 4500 rpm in response to delivery kickdowns. BMW’s claimed 5.6-second zero-to-62-mph time (with all-wheel drive) is only 0.2 second behind that of a homogeneous sedan.

Ride comfort is outstanding, even on a 20-inch wheels of a exam car. The customary air-sprung cessation does a excellent pursuit of traffic with both vast bumps and severe surfaces. Steering stays a amiable disappointment; a electrically assisted shelve allows no genuine sensations to get through. And we’d like a primer gearbox, though even Europeans have given adult on grouping those. (The bottom 520d can be specified with a hang in some markets.)

The 5-series isn’t a biggest oppulance wagon, though it presents a luggage space beautifully. The 20-cubic-foot ability with a back seatbacks adult is 3 cubes reduction than in a Mercedes-Benz E-class wagon, nonetheless it’s incompletely some-more than you’ll find in a Volvo V90 (all according to Europe-market dimensions standards). With a back seats folded—the 3 seatbacks fall individually—volume increases to 60 cubic feet, that is 4 reduction than a supersize Benz though 6 cubic feet adult on a Swede. The BMW also has alone opening tailgate glass, like a 3-series wagon, permitting smaller equipment to be put into a load reason but opening a whole liftgate.

Missing Out

While we’ve been told that during slightest one chronicle of a 5-series diesel will make it opposite a Atlantic, it seems rarely doubtful that a Touring will follow it. Anyone looking for a some-more unsentimental 5-series will have to make do with a arriving 6-series Gran Turismo hatchback—or otherwise follow a flock and buy an X5. They don’t know what they’re missing.

Lightweight Middlemen: Chevrolet Colorado vs. Honda Ridgeline!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

From a Jul 2017 issue

The usually vehicle-segment descriptor in a automotive marketplace that competence be some-more distorted than “crossover” is “mid-size pickup.” The small discuss of it has a possess Don Sherman furiously scribbling numbers on bits of paper, furious eyed and sweating. “There’s no such thing,” he growls. And, we contingency admit, he’s kind of right. Not about a heat in a office. He’s passed wrong about that. But “mid-size pickup” assumes that there is something bigger and something smaller, between that this middle-size thing fits. There is no smaller category of pickup, though. And each Chevrolet Colorado, Sherman’s handwritten records attest, exceeds a length of a shortest Silverado. What does it all mean, other than that we need to arrange a remote bureau for Sherman?

We don’t know. What we do know is that dual vehicles from conflicting edges of a automotive universe can accommodate in a ­maybe-you-don’t-actually-need-a-pickup center belligerent of “mid-size pickup truck.” And so it is with a Colorado and a Ridgeline. The Chevy hails from a universe of Silverados, nation songs, diesel, and brodozers. The Honda shares a height with a minivan. Like an tangible pickup, a Chevy is accessible in dual bed lengths, dual cab sizes, and with a choice of 3 engines (one of that browns that fuel we get during lorry stops). The Honda is front-wheel expostulate in a bottom form and can spin a sides of a bed into an huge speaker.

So that brings us to this no-win conditions starring a Colorado LT 4WD organisation cab brief box and a Ridgeline RTL-E AWD. If we endowment a prize to a Honda pickup, we will be suggested as a pantywaists that we are. And if we select a Chevy, it will indicate that we are nation song fans. Either way, Sherman’s pissed.

Lightweight Middlemen: Chevrolet Colorado vs. Honda Ridgeline!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

From a Jul 2017 issue

The usually vehicle-segment descriptor in a automotive marketplace that competence be some-more distorted than “crossover” is “mid-size pickup.” The small discuss of it has a possess Don Sherman furiously scribbling numbers on bits of paper, furious eyed and sweating. “There’s no such thing,” he growls. And, we contingency admit, he’s kind of right. Not about a heat in a office. He’s passed wrong about that. But “mid-size pickup” assumes that there is something bigger and something smaller, between that this middle-size thing fits. There is no smaller category of pickup, though. And each Chevrolet Colorado, Sherman’s handwritten records attest, exceeds a length of a shortest Silverado. What does it all mean, other than that we need to arrange a remote bureau for Sherman?

We don’t know. What we do know is that dual vehicles from conflicting edges of a automotive universe can accommodate in a ­maybe-you-don’t-actually-need-a-pickup center belligerent of “mid-size pickup truck.” And so it is with a Colorado and a Ridgeline. The Chevy hails from a universe of Silverados, nation songs, diesel, and brodozers. The Honda shares a height with a minivan. Like an tangible pickup, a Chevy is accessible in dual bed lengths, dual cab sizes, and with a choice of 3 engines (one of that browns that fuel we get during lorry stops). The Honda is front-wheel expostulate in a bottom form and can spin a sides of a bed into an huge speaker.

So that brings us to this no-win conditions starring a Colorado LT 4WD organisation cab brief box and a Ridgeline RTL-E AWD. If we endowment a prize to a Honda pickup, we will be suggested as a pantywaists that we are. And if we select a Chevy, it will indicate that we are nation song fans. Either way, Sherman’s pissed.

Boot, Scoot, Boogie: Mobility Scooters Compared!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

From a Jul 2017 issue

Mobility scooters are ubiquitous. At hot-rod shows, they fly in squadron arrangement with any commander trailing a gray ponytail. Take your dog out for a inherent and one will expert by, forcing Fido off a path and into a gutter. Occasionally someone will get drunk, take one, and expostulate it into a canal. Trader Joe’s should supplement banking to a sweeper by a furnish department; Walgreens and CVS sell them on their websites; and a scoots are now a go-to anxiety for jokes about flourishing old, alongside walk-in bathtubs and retreat mortgages. The destiny might shortly move unconstrained drifting cars with onboard Chipotle service. But a benefaction belongs to crossover SUVs and mobility scooters. So, here’s this comparison test. There’s a crossover instrumented exam here.

You might consider that mobility scooters are a breakthrough with a half-life of selfie sticks, though demographics disagree otherwise. There are about 75 million baby boomers in a United States, and a youngest of them spin 53 this year. The oldest are 71. They’re aging into that partial of life when bodies turn frail and, while complicated medicine means they’ll live prolonged lives, many will need assistance removing around. Right behind are 66 million Gen-Xers, followed by millennials, whose numbers now compare a boomers. You might not be in a marketplace now, though we are all intensity scooter owners.

Throw in other sources of decreased mobility (including illness and obesity), and during slightest one news projects that a worldwide mobility market, that includes all from canes to scooters, will grow from $7.7 billion in 2015 to $14.6 billion by 2024.

To oversimplify, there are three-wheel scooters, four-wheel scooters, and motorized wheelchairs. And they’re probably all electrically powered regulating lead-acid batteries. There are dozens of opposite models, many built for sidewalks or a good indoors, and they tip out during about 5 mph. But scooters for use on trails and paths are apropos common, and more-stylish models are coming. We recruited 3 for this surprisingly critical comparison.

C/D knows vehicles, though these scooters are medical devices. And no one bestir will be right for everyone. This also means that scooters are prescribed by doctors and mostly paid for by health word or Medicare. Abuses might occur.

In 2015, a association Hoveround, that had mostly advertised on The Price Is Right during a mangle before a showcase turn that it could get patients into a scooter for “little or no cost,” was indicted by a Department of Health and Human Services’ examiner ubiquitous of billing Medicare $27 million for mobility inclination that weren’t medically necessary. Hoveround was invited to this exam though incited down a event with a reason that it doesn’t wish any broadside during this time. So, well, there’s that.

These scooters capacitate a personal mobility of people who would differently be limited by earthy challenges. But that doesn’t explain a finish miss of cupholders.

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