Eager for Avenir Cash, Buick Knows It Can't Go Full Denali Yet
Denali. It’s the Ford LTD of trims. Just take an existing model, add a dash of content and a sprinkling of chrome, and boom — a significantly inflated MSRP and legions of willing buyers. So impressed by GMC’s Denali sub-brand was Buick, executives decided it needed one of its own.
Enter the Avenir sub-brand, which serves as the top trim podium for the redesigned 2018 Enclave. Not only is Avenir designed to milk larger volumes of dollars out of existing Buick products, it’s also meant to draw more eyes to the brand — something Buick needs now, not later.
Still, despite its high expectations for the Avenir experiment, Buick knows it can’t come in too hot.
Wake the Kids: Buick LaCrosse Avenir Is Coming in 2018
As part of a larger group of automotive publications, TTAC has access to a variety of content. We wanted to bring you some of the unique content we think lives up to TTAC’s standards and offers legitimate insight or a properly critical viewpoint to car evaluation. This story, by GM Inside News editor Michael Accardi, showcases Buick’s latest attempt to boost flagging LaCrosse sales.
NHTSA documents discovered by GM Inside News reveal Buick will expand its Avenir sub-brand in 2018 with the addition of the LaCrosse.
As the full-size sedan market continues to crumble, and the LaCrosse carries a production-crippling 204-day supply of inventory, Buick will push its flagship sedan further into the premium sphere as it attempts to chase unsatisfied luxury shoppers with its new top-shelf Avenir line.
Ram Just Can't Get Enough, Introduces Two New Trims at the State Fair of Texas
People allege that everything’s bigger in Texas. At the State Fair, they’re probably right. Ram chose the long-running extravaganza to show off a couple of new trim packages now available on their pickups.
The current list of Ram trim levels reads like a menu at a good restaurant: lots on it and plenty that you want. Ahead of next January’s Detroit show, where we will presumably see a brand-new Ram 1500 pickup, the FCA team has dropped two new models into their lineup.
Rare Rides: The Crazy 1998 MSV, an RV That Time Forgot
Look at the large creature before you. A fiberglass cacophony of components from various manufacturer parts bins, known as the MSV. Initially, I thought the short acronym could only mean My Special Van, but those letters actually represent the company behind this beast: Mauck Specialty Vehicles.
Hop in the back, and we’ll embark on a voyage to… recreation.
Rare Rides: The 1990 Bentley Hooper Empress II - a Turbo R by Any Other Name
Back in June, Rare Rides profiled a different blue British beauty in the form of the Aston Martin Lagonda. Down in the comments section, TTAC reader Heino requested coverage of a Hooper-bodied Bentley.
Frankly, I forgot about the request in short order. But it sprang back to mind as soon as I saw the awkward visage of what would become today’s Rare Ride: a Bentley Hooper Empress II. Ready for a history lesson?
QOTD: Lincoln Continental Vs. Cadillac CT6 - Pick Your Poison
Today’s Question of the Day isn’t our typical lighthearted, open-ended Choose Your Own Adventure inquiry. It’s serious business, pitting two serious flagship sedans against one another.
At the end of this post, you’ll have to choose: Lincoln Continental, or Cadillac CT6?
Mercedes-AMG Fans Need to Learn a New Number - '53'
While we knew Mercedes-Benz’s AMG sub-brand had plans to dabble in electrification for upcoming performance models, details of what that could mean for the sub-brand’s products remained pretty thin on the ground.
Daimler R&D head Ola Källenius explained back in January that future AMG-badged vehicles will gradually become “more and more electric.” Never mind the limited-production Project One hypercar that’s in the works — that model is just a plaything for the Dubai set. Well, now we know exactly what AMG has planned for the new rung in its model range, and it indeed makes use of charged particles to lend some extra grunt to the overall package.
It also brings a very sweet inline-six to the table. Baby steps, people.
Ram Ups the Luxury Payload, Drops Curtain on 2018 Limited Tungsten Edition
As the current-generation Ram 1500 nears the end of its life cycle and its Heavy Duty siblings await either a refresh or something more significant, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decided to offer its most luxurious pickup to date. Tungsten, which has the highest melting point and tensile strength of any metal on earth, lends its tough-sounding name to new Ram trim slotting above the existing top-rung Limited.
For 2018, the Limited Tungsten Edition becomes the latest and greatest pickup from an automaker known for tossing out special editions like Halloween candy. What can a buyer expect from a Ram 1500, 2500 or 3500 decked out in Tungsten duds? Well, besides an MSRP above $55,000 for a rear-drive 1500, you’ll find a truck Mick Jagger might enjoy.
The Already Big 2018 Lincoln Navigator is About to Get Bigger
Large. Imposing. Square-rigged. Bold. All apt descriptions of the totally redesigned 2018 Lincoln Navigator. After withering on the vine for years as it weathered refresh after refresh, Lincoln’s full-size SUV flagship was finally given the architecture and hardware it needs to battle its chief rival, Cadillac.
However, as impressive a redesign as it was, the new Navigator (unlike its predecessor) lacked one thing compared to Cadillac’s Escalade: a choice of body lengths and the ability to haul more cargo. Not anymore, it seems.
Earlier today, brand executives revealed the 2018 Navigator will appear in showrooms this fall with two body lengths. Yes, you can have your new Navigator and stretch it, too.
Spied: Lincoln Gives Refreshed 2018 MKC Some Continental Kit
Lincoln’s littlest utility vehicle, the MKC, always risked being overshadowed by the larger offerings emanating from the resurgent luxury brand. That doesn’t mean it’s forgotten — either by the buying public or its builder.
The four-cylinder-only MKC went on sale in May 2014 as a 2015 model, heralding a new, decidedly non-Ford-like design direction for the brand’s utility vehicles. Sporting a toned-down version of the whale-like corporate split grille, the little utility was Lincoln’s first attempt to tap into the growing compact luxury CUV market. No longer was a Lincoln utility just a warmed-over Ford with a revised face and taillights.
Now that Lincoln’s moving away from the whale look, the 2018 MKC, judging by these spy photos, will follow the brand’s recent “Make like Continental!” design philosophy.
Rare Rides: The Rolls-Royce Sweptail, a Bespoke Ultra-Luxury Coupe
Sweeping fender flares sculpted by hand, luggage trunks affixed to the rear by the help, and huge headlamps housed in metal spheres. These details come to mind when considering the old era of coachbuilding. Grand vehicles reflected personal touches and design cues requested by the customer, which the coachbuilder was all too happy to include in the vehicle in exchange for large sums of money.
This tradition is alive and well today at Rolls-Royce, which recently debuted a one-off bespoke coupe for an unnamed customer of taste and subtlety in design.
I present to you the Sweptail.
Roominess at the Top: BMW 8 Series Debuts in Concept Form
If your 7 Series has friends and club patrons pretending not to know you, BMW has the answer: its upcoming, resurrected 8 Series. Once again, BMW has decided to carve out some space at the top of its model range, this time to rebuff efforts by Mercedes-Benz to lure buyers in the six-figure luxury market.
It’s big, it’s long, it’s expensive, and it’s…a concept. While buyers can expect some deviations between the BMW Concept 8 Series premiering at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este and the final production model, this vehicle seems pretty fleshed out. Also, unlike such styling efforts as the Buick Avista, this vehicle will actually see production.
Changes Afoot for the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali
Some details aren’t likely to spur readers into dropping what they’re doing and taking the rest of the day off to plan their next big purchase, but one change planned for the 2018 GMC Yukon Denali does sweeten the pot.
Large, V8-powered SUVs seldom amaze with their fuel economy, so any improvement in thirstiness is a welcome addition to this mildly refreshed vehicle. While the Yukon Denali stands to gain unspecified MPGs, the brand is more interested in touting a less technological feature.
Is Aston Martin Finally Ready for Public Trading?
Rumors that Aston Martin is destined for an initial public offering, either eventually or imminently, have persisted ever since former parent Ford offloaded the British luxury marque in 2007.
The brand has come a long way since Ford dropped it off at the orphanage by expanding into new segments, spawning a sub-brand, and entering the non-automotive realms of merchandise and luxury speedboats. As its trajectory increasingly mirrors that of recently spun-off Ferrari, sources claim an IPO is right around the corner.
8 Series Coupe is Coming Next Year, BMW Finally Confirms
It once sat at the pinnacle of BMW’s model podium, but cutting-edge technology, German opulence and a choice of eight or twelve cylinders couldn’t keep the 8 Series in production. It was only rival Mercedes-Benz’s decision to push the S-Class into the luxury stratosphere that compelled the Munich automaker to consider climbing the luxury ladder again.
Now, a year after the automaker trademarked a slew of 8 Series model names and insider sources assured us of its return, BMW has officially confirmed it. The 8 Series will reappear next year.