Posts By: AMagagnoli

By on June 26, 2019

Dodge released a teaser video this morning of a Charger SRT, shrouded by a sheet flapping in the wind. Though covered, the visible cues point to the previously-spied widebody Charger. The video is titled, “Something big is coming…”, so they’re not exactly leaving much to the imagination.

The front bumper looks to ready depart from the current SRT Charger design by incorporating a snout akin to that found on the SRT Durango. The lower outer air inlets grow considerably larger and more aggressive, as well. (Read More…)

By on June 26, 2019

A large portion of the automotive industry tends to follow Audi’s lead on interior design. That has resulted in the proliferation of the worst phenomenon in modern automotive history — the floating tablet-style infotainment screen.

With the refresh of the Audi Q7, the biggest scourge on automotive design since spinner wheels may finally be coming to an end. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2019

As part of BMW’s big #NEXTGen event, the Vision M Next concept shows what the future of “The Ultimate Driving Machine” will look like. This comes in conjunction with an announcement that the targeted 25 electrified models are being pulled ahead by 2 years, to 2023.

BMW Group’s latest innovations in areas of design, autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification, and services are being showcased at the #NEXTGen event. According to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, “the BMW Vision M NEXT demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging.” (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2019

BMW has announced a successor to the popular M235i and M240i Racing models in the form of the M2 Competition. While the first cars are slated for delivery in the second quarter of 2020, they will see their first public race test during round 5 of the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring on August 3rd, 2019.

The “M235i Racing” customer racing model proved to be highly successful in Europe and the U.S. Introduced to the U.S. in 2016, Toby Grahovec drove his Classic BMW M235iR to the Pirelli World Challenge TC class championship that year. Customer orders were fulfilled in the second half of 2016 and I personally raced one in 2017 for Rooster Hall Racing, securing Rookie of the Year honors that season. Now in their 4th year in the U.S., the SRO TC America class is dominated by the M235iR and M240iR models. In the opening round, 14 of the 17 entrants were in the BMWs. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2019

A report surfaced today from Muscle Cars and Trucks, suggesting that the Camaro will not live on to see a seventh generation. Having been sold continuously for the last 10 years, the iconic pony car is not planned to transition to the new A2XX platform. Current product plans forecast production to 2023, but nothing further.

The current sixth-generation Camaro is built on the Alpha platform that was utilized by the outgoing ATC and CTS. The new CT4 and CT5 models are built on an updated version of that platform, dubbed A2XX. While all 3 models will be built alongside each other at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant, the Camaro is not slated to receive a redesign to transition onto the newer chassis. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2019

In conjunction with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring this past weekend, Mini presented a lightly-disguised John Cooper Works GP well before its scheduled on-sale date in 2020. With more than 300 horsepower on tap, the new JCW GP is almost half a minute faster than its predecessor around the Nordschleife.

While development tuning is still in process, the JCW GP lapped the “Green Hell” in less than 8 minutes. While that is impressive for any front-wheel-drive hot hatch, it will inevitably be compared to the 7:43.80 that was set by the Civic Type R. Whether it reaches that figure or not, it shares outlandish design style and boy-racer looks with the Type R. (Read More…)

By on June 24, 2019

It’s a question that I often joked about in relation to racing in LeMons competition. The joke being that small fires are normal for $500 crap cans and don’t necessarily warrant a pit stop (this is not actually true). As I stopped the not-a-crapcan GT350 in the pits to have grass cleared from the grille openings, I heard someone yell, “Fire!”

Knowing the probable source of the combustion, there was just one thing to do… drive. (Read More…)

By on June 21, 2019

A Mazda inline-six cylinder engine developed for a rear wheel-drive-based platform has been industry knowledge since news broke in May. But new reporting from Best Car in Japan confirm that Toyota/Lexus and Mazda will share that rear wheel-drive platform and inline-six engine.

Mazda’s inline-six engine development will include Skyativ-X (gasoline) and Skyativ-D (diesel) variants, mounted longitudinally. Additionally, a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system and all-wheel-drive variants will be offered. The question is what this has to do with Toyota. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2019

J.D. Power’s 2019 Initial Quality Study (IQS) shows industry-wide problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) failing to improve for the first time since 2014. Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai take the top three spots, improving on their 2018 results, while 18 of the 32 brands studied declined.

Hyundai Motor Group’s brands continue their trend of increasing their advantage over their competitors. The Genesis brand improved from 68 to 63 PP100, Kia from 72 to 70 PP100, and Hyundai from 74 to 71 PP100. Ford and Lincoln round out the top five with 83 and 84 PPH, respectively. Land Rover is most-improved over 2018, improving by 37 PP100, but they still sit second from last in the study at 123 PP100. (Read More…)

By on June 20, 2019

Since 2005, 37 deaths by carbon monoxide poisoning have been attributed to vehicles with keyless ignitions that were inadvertently left running. Automatic engine shutoff is not currently mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so manufacturer’s application of the technology is sporadic. But the PARK IT Act wants to change that.  (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2019

In September of last year, the Michigan State Police conducted their 2019 Model Year Police Vehicle Evaluations. The purpose of these tests is to provide objective performance data to the individual agencies who are making purchasing decisions for their divisions.

For the automakers, it’s an all-out race for pride in being the superior bad-guy chaser. Ford hands off the title from their own 2018 3.5-liter EcoBoost Police Interceptor AWD (Taurus) sedan to their 2019 Police Interceptor Utility 3.0L EcoBoost AWD Explorer SUV. (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2019

While we got an early peek of the new 8 Series Gran Coupe via some leaked photos, the full lineup has now been revealed by BMW. The entry level 8 Series will be in the form of the rear-wheel drive 840i. With the 340 hp turbo inline-6, the cost of entry begins at $84,990, plus $995 destination. Meanwhile, the M850i xDrive will start at $109,895.

On many cars, the design of the rear seems like an afterthought — or possibly a feature designed by a separate team from the front. Either way, it’s rare that a rear end is the most striking part of a car’s design. Here, though, BMW has crafted such complexity and visual strength, that I find myself continuing to stare at the rear ¾ view. (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2019

Just because the Lexus GX 460 rarely goes off-road, doesn’t mean it can’t. Despite the fact that most GXs prowl suburban malls, Lexus is still working to bolster its boulder-bashing bonafides.

The 2020 Lexus GX 460 will be available with an Off-Road Package with Multi-Terrain Select. Available on the top-level Luxury Grade model, this package should help with all that off-roading that Lexus owners are apparently known to do. This system combines surface-selectable traction- and stability-control modes with the Panoramic View and Multi-Terrain Monitors, all but negating the need for a spotter when doing some hardcore rock crawling.

Lexus is taking existing developed systems and technologies and incorporating them into the GX platform.  (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2019

This year’s 24 Hours of LeMans was expectedly dominated by the two LMP1 entries from Toyota, but it wasn’t the expected car that won. LMP2 had a huge battle of its own, American-based IMSA teams challenged in GTE Pro, and the heartfelt GTE Am win changed after the end of the race.

After dominating for nearly the whole race and resetting the track record, the #7 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway, and Jose Maria Lopez came in with a down tire. Upon going back out, they realized that the tire pressure sensor system was reporting the incorrect tire’s pressure and they had to come in once again. Driving the entire track with a low tire cost them dearly. (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2019

Either in response to customer demand, or as part of its plan all along, Porsche is introducing a new 4.0-liter 6-cylinder engine for top-tier 718 models. Mercifully, these will be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard in either the Spyder and Cayman GT4.

The new naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter engine is derived from the current 911 Carerra turbo engine. With displacement increased, power goes up from the last Cayman GT4 by 35hp. The 718 Cayman GT4 will make 414hp at 7600 rpm, on its way to an 8000 rpm redline. In the 718 Spyder, this represents an increase of 44hp over the previous droptop. Torque peaks at 310 ft-lbs from 5,000-6,800 rpm. (Read More…)

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