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Archive for the ‘Luxury Vehicles’ Category

First Drive: 2018 Lexus NX 300h

New version boasts an improved powertrain and expansive interior.

by Joseph Szczesny on Nov.15, 2018

The 2018 Lexus NX 300h features an updated powertrain that provides plenty of power right away without the hard shifts.

Lexus doesn’t have the long history of Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac or BMW but over the years it has succeeded in pushing innovation and change within the luxury segment, which for most of the auto industry’s history was built around expensive sedans.

However, as the prices of new vehicles have climbed and what was once considered luxury equipment winds up in more and more cars, sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, brands such as Lexus are being forced to reconsider what defines luxury.

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The 2018 Lexus NX 300h certainly doesn’t look like a traditional luxury vehicle, inside or out. But it has plenty of the attributes long connected to luxury vehicles such as a quiet cabin, comfortable interior and a smooth ride powered by some of the latest and most sophisticated technology. (more…)

Range Rover Wires In Teaser ahead of New Evoque Debut

Fleshed-out SUV coming to Los Angeles – and could feature new Transparent Hood technology.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.15, 2018

Land Rover created full-size, wireframe versions of the second-generation Range Rover Evoque.

Land Rover took a dramatic turn with the 2011 launch of the Range Rover Evoque, moving away from its traditionally boxy SUVs to deliver something far more sleek and sinuous. With its distinctive, sloping roofline, it quickly became the brand’s big seller, attracting a wide range of new buyers that might otherwise have ignored the British brand.

Eight years in, the automaker is getting ready to roll out a new version of the Evoque at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with a sneak peek coming a week earlier. To give us a hint of what’s coming, Land Rover has released a group of unusual teaser images.

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Unlike the usual teasers that cross our desk, these aren’t carefully cropped or shadowed images but, rather, wireframe renderings that clearly lay out the exterior dimensions of the new 2019 Range Rover Evoque. And, we’re hearing, there very well could be a secondary meaning to this approach, hinting at a major new feature that could debut on the new SUV.

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Porsche Takes Top Spot in 2018 Power Sales Satisfaction Index

Survey shows that dealers who text secure more deals.

by Michael Strong on Nov.14, 2018

Porsche took first place in JD Power's 2018 Sales Satisfaction Index, ahead of Infiniti and Lexus.

New car customers rated Porsche as the top brand in J.D. Power released its annual Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study today and Porsche took top honors overall while Mini was the leader in the “mass market” category while Porsche is considered a luxury car.

The study reviews the sales process, such as how the customer and the dealer interact. The average score was an 823. The big take away from this year’s study? Despite recent claims that people want to haggle face-to-face, Power’s results reveal that customers prefer to be contacted via digital communications such as text message, but it happens less often than desired.

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“These aren’t apples to apples comparisons by any means, but the scores are clear indicators of where shoppers and buyers are going, especially as the consumer base gains a larger mix of younger customers,” said Chris Sutton, Vice President of the Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power. (more…)

Aston Martin Confirms DBX Name, Shows New SUV Testing

Production model set for Q4 2019 reveal.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.14, 2018

Aston Martin is bringing the DBX sport-utility vehicle to market after showing a concept a few years ago.

File it under “No Big Surprise”: Aston Martin has confirmed that its first-ever SUV will retain the name of the original concept ute, DBX. That said, there have been plenty of significant changes since the prototype was initially revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2015.

For one thing, the original, three-door show car now has a more conventional, five-door layout, albeit retaining a coupe-like roofline that, while not as exotic as the new Lamborghini Urus is certainly more sporty than the stolid Bentley Bentayga.

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The pics here show what is described as a DBX prototype being put through its paces on a Welsh rally stage by Aston Chief Engineer Matt Becker. And, according to a statement by the British marque, “signifies the start of an extensive testing program, (o)ne that has begun in Wales, as a nod to Aston Martin’s new St. Athan production facility in the Vale of Glamorgan.” (more…)

First Look: BMW M340i and M340i xDrive

Official debut coming at LA Auto Show.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.13, 2018

The new BMW M340i and M340i xDrive models will reach U.S. showrooms next spring.

The rush is on. With just weeks to go before this year’s U.S. auto show season kicks off in Los Angeles, automakers are rushing to give us a preview of what they’ll have on hand in the City of Angels.

For BMW, the big news will be the debut of the 2020 M340i and M340i xDrive sedans, and the Bavarians have proffered up this first look at the range-topping model. While we’ll have to wait to get a look at the next-gen M3, these M Performance sedans are impressive in their own right, sharing an updated twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter straight six making 382 horsepower and 369 pounded-feet of torque.

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This marks the first time the 3-Series will be offered with an M Performance package, what some have dubbed M-Light. We’ll have to wait for the Los Angeles Auto Show to get all the specs on the 2020 BMW M340i models, but preliminary specs suggest 0 to 60 times of around 4.2 seconds, with top speed electronically limited at 155 mph.

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First Official Look: 2019 BMW 8-Series Convertible

New Bavarian flagship rolls back its top.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Nov.01, 2018

BMW's got a replacement for the 6-Series convertible with the new 850i for 2019.

We’ve been seeing some leaked images in recent days, but now we can offer you an official first look at BMW’s new flagship convertible.

There were more than a few folks disappointed to learn that the 6-Series Cabriolet was going away. But if you have the budget, it’s going to be difficult to complain about the new 850i ragtop. Oh, and yes, it skips the hardtop approach taken by some premium convertibles in favor of a more traditional cloth top.

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Set to make its official debut later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the sleek new cabrio has a lot in common, as you’d likely expect, with the coupe version of the 8-Series that made its formal debut early in October at the Paris Motor Show. (more…)

Faraday Future “Effectively Insolvent,” Says Co-Founder

Battery-carmaker confirms second round of job cuts.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.31, 2018

Nick Sampson, (r), one of the Faraday Future founders, is shown with investor Jia Yueting, (l) at the debut of the FF91 concept in January 2016.

The California-based battery-car company Faraday Future is “effectively insolvent,” according to co-founder Nick Sampson who resigned on Tuesday.

His departure comes as the once-promising company prepares for a second round of mass layoffs, a Faraday spokesman advised TheDetroitBureau.com late Tuesday evening. Faraday had already laid off a sizable number of its approximately 1,300 employees last week as it struggled to find enough cash to continue operating.

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“There is a furlough pending,” said spokesman Jacob Brown, adding that Faraday needs to take “drastic measures, but the executive team wants to keep the company running.”

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Green Car of the Year Finalists Revealed

“Green” comes in many forms.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.30, 2018

The 2019 Insight is Honda's third attempt to market a mainstream, entry-level hybrid: an a possible winner of Green Car of the Year.

Not all that long ago, motorists looking for an environmentally friendly vehicle were likely in for a long search, with only a handful of models on the market. These days, it’s becoming a lot easier, as more and more new alternatives come to market, seemingly almost every week.

And that’s convinced the organizers of the annual Green Car of the Year Awards to expand their program this year. “Green comes in many forms,” they explain, noting that this year will bring new awards for the Luxury Green Car of the Year and the Green SUV of the Year.

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The three awards will be handed out at the Los Angeles International Auto Show just a month from now, and could see the jury highlight the wide range of “green” technologies now available to American motorists. (more…)

Jaguar Land Rover Dedicates New European Plant

New site offers flexibility and workforce diversity.

by Joseph Szczesny on Oct.26, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover put the finishing touches on tis new $1.59 billion assembly plant in Nitra, Slovakia.

Jaguar Land Rover has opened its state-of-the-art $1.59 billion manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

While the core of its business is in the United Kingdom, Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in Nitra marks the latest step in the company’s global expansion strategy following the opening of its Chinese joint venture in 2014 and Brazilian plant in 2016, JLR officials said.

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The creation of new international factories allows Jaguar Land Rover to offer its customers even more exciting new models, protect against currency fluctuations and support a globally competitive business. (more…)

BMW Recalling 1.6 Million Vehicles Worldwide Due to Fire Risk

Company including 54,700 vehicles in U.S. and Canada.

by Michael Strong on Oct.23, 2018

Some of BMW's 5-Series are the target of the maker's latest safety recall, involving 1.6 million vehicles around the world.

BMW is recalling 1.6 million vehicles around the world, including 54,700 in the U.S. and Canada, due to a potential fire hazard.

The action is really an expansion of an earlier recall of 480,000 vehicles in Europe and Asia. In the affected vehicles a fluid leak could cause a fire. More than 40 fires were reported in South Korea.

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In fact, the South Korean government recommended owners of the affected vehicles stop driving them until they could be repaired. Police raided the automaker’s office in Seoul while investigating the issue, after videos of cars engulfed by fire went viral. (more…)