2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Initial Drive Evaluation – 1LEHEHEHEEE

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE pulled over by police

It’s fall in the Mojave Desert. Morning greets us with a cool and blinding brightness at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada. Many of us mill about like the speed freaks we are, anxiously awaiting our subsequent repair, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, pacing in anticipation.

And then it takes place: someone hits the tiny rectangular begin button on the SS 1LE to my left. Synapses fire up in unison with the 6.two-liter LT1 V8, brain buzzing to the rhythmic burble pouring from the quad suggestions of the Camaro’s Active Exhaust, one swift kick of the correct foot away from liberating bliss.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE track shot

On the surface, Chevy’s formula is absurdly easy: take the superlative sixth-gen Camaro, strip it of superfluous weight, dial in the suspension, amp up the brakes, and throw on the stickiest rubber you can get.

But, the Camaro 1LE is much, a lot much more.

Humbled by History

The fuel-sipping ’70s had lengthy faded into a bad dream in its place came inexpensive gasoline and a new lust for sporty cars. By the late ’80s, many domestic and foreign manufacturers had obliged, which in turn made the SCCA’s newly minted Showroom Stock class one of the most competitive road racing series in America, unless you drove a Camaro.

Because no a single goes racing to lose, and losing is negative for sales, Team Camaro threw a kaleidoscope of track-focused upgrades at the third-gen F-physique. New gearing, brakes, fuel technique and suspension produced the auto competitive, but Chevy also had to sell those components to folks as portion of the guidelines — giving birth to RPO code 1LE.

From 1989, by means of to the Camaro’s demise in 2002, the 1LE was discreetly obtainable to SS shoppers — offered you ticked the right combination of order boxes.

A Modern Mistake

Let’s face it: the fifth-generation Camaro was conceived in a time of chaos, and doomed by a mandate from management to not compromise the 2006 notion car’s styling. The Camaro would be born with too much kind and not enough function, manifesting as terminal understeer when driven difficult.

Serendipitously, a answer showed up for the duration of ZL1 development courtesy of a chassis mule. It began with an extension of the rear stabilizer bar, along with new rear drop hyperlinks and new decrease control arms. All of a sudden, the car was beginning to rotate.

Ultimately, the car would also get upgraded toe links, rear shock mounts, front stabilizer bar, and a new strut tower brace — every little thing the ZL1 had, minus MagneRide. That is when someone asked, “Why do not we sell this?”

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE

Trickle Down Economics

Re-engineering the fifth-gen was an pricey lesson that would permeate the whole sixth-generation program. If Team Camaro wanted to reach new located levels of performance, higher-finish capability required to be baked in from day one particular, which would enable the engineering group to easily port over go-quickly components from the prime down.

This time the $ 6,500 1LE package contains the magical FE4 Magnetic Ride Control suspension system pilfered from the ZL1. Along with adaptive magnetorheological damping, FE4 also adds stiffer springs and larger stab bars front and back.

At the corners sit a set of 20-inch, bite-your-lip stunning, forged-aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar rubbers, measuring a grin-inducing 285 in the front and 305 in the rear. Maintaining things compliant are a racy red set of six-piston Brembos, chomping down on two-piece, 14.6-inch rotors in the front. 4-piston calipers preserve the car’s rear settled.

Coupled with the SS’ regular LT1 is the 1LE’s unsung hero is a 3.73:1 ratio electronic restricted-slip differential. The eLSD cranks up cornering performance and offers sociopathic levels of manage over the 455 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque at your toe-ideas since the car can now optimize when the diff engages. All vehicles belt out through a common Performance Active Exhaust, although 5 external coolers will assist you run longer sessions.

Inside, you drop into a familiar cockpit, now stripped of extras and swathed in suede. The Recaro buckets, flat-bottom wheel, and 5.1:1 quick throw shifter impart a feeling of sensible precision.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE track shot

Dual Threat

Chevy also inaugurated the very first-ever V6 1LE — offered on LGX-equipped 1LS and 2LT Camaros. The $ 4,500 V6 1LE package trickles down the SS’ standard FE3 suspension, which includes rear cradle mounts, dampers, toe links and stabilizer bars. The 3.six-liter V6 still delivers 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque.

V6 cars get new 4-piston Brembo front calipers along with larger 12.six-inch front rotors, staggered 20-inch alloy wheels (eight.five-inches thick in the front, 9.five rears) wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric run-flat tires.

The new parts don’t quit there. The V6 also gets a new fueling system to cope with larger cornering loads, a new mechanical three.27 restricted-slip differential, and a new 5.four:1 brief-throw shifter. Like the SS, it gets a normal dual mode exhaust and five external coolers.

Aesthetically, it shares a vinyl-wrapped matte black hood, front splitter, and 3-piece deck spoiler with the SS 1LE.

Recaro front buckets are optional on the V6 1LE and will set you back $ 1,195 each the SS and V6 offer you an optional $ 1,300 Overall performance Data Recorder, which enables you to record and analyze your lapping sessions.

Adding a V6 to the 1LE recipe provides Chevy access to two distinct demographics. The SS 1LE caters to a more experienced and hardcore track aficionado, which has each right to steal sales from BMW and Porsche. The V6 serves as a balanced and reasonably priced selection for the aspiring autocrosser, and Chevy thinks it could even take a few sales from the normal Camaro SS.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE burnout

Hot Shoes, Cold Feet

Thanks to new gearing, each the V6 and SS 1LE shave time off the sprint to 60. The V6 will get there in 5.2 seconds compared to 5.four normal the SS will do it in four.two seconds, a tenth quicker than regular.

In terms of lateral grip, each cars obliterate the fifth-gen 1LE’s .91g on the skidpad. Aided by absurdly sticky rubber, the SS 1LE will lay down 1.02g of lateral grip — practically Corvette levels — although the V6 1LE equals the regular SS’ .97g on the skidpad, much more if you give it greater rubber.

Due to the fact it lacks two cylinders and MRC, the three,490-pound V6 1LE is 257 pounds lighter than the SS 1LE, making it more nimble and compliant. Since it lacks the LT1’s monster torque numbers, you are able to much more comfortably use its capability, both on the street and the circuit.

The SS 1LE, on the other hand, is merely a complete-blown addiction. We’re speaking exhilarating feelings of excessive self-confidence, hyper alertness, rambling speech and dilated pupils.

Together, we shattered the California border at speeds usually reserved for the terminally insane as I babbled to myself about stability and fuel reduce-off, terrified at how significantly further the vehicle was prepared to go.

Reaching transcendence in the middle of the Mojave, I back off slightly, giving me time to check the map for our turn back to Nevada. Just as I drop the TREMEC six-speed back into fifth for yet another run to the stratosphere, the bottom of my stomach falls out. The blue and red cherries of a California Highway Patrol cruiser light me up from out of the desert haze.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE pulled over by police

He approaches the Arctic White SS 1LE, rests his hand on the roof and dips down to appear at me via the gun slit windows.

“Son, do you know how fast you were going?”

“Ummm …”

“This is a 65, and you had been well north of that.”

“Sorry officer, I uh, didn’t know I couldn’t do that. I haven’t seen anything posted for about 50 miles.”

Fortunately, he was a fellow speed freak and worked with me on the number. He knew all about the 1LE, we jabbered for a bit about cars and I answered a few of his inquiries about the Camaro — when two far more from our convoy flew by in rapid succession.

Turning critical once again, he handed over the citation and mentioned sternly, “Tell your buddies they far better take it simple.”

Heading back to Pahrump within tolerance of the law exposes the 1LE’s one particular weakness: road noise. The Goodyears are overwhelmingly loud with the engine turning more than at a comparatively silent 2,000 rpm at highway speeds. The only solution is to get the LT1 singing above three,000 rpm, replacing road noise with an atavistic howl.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE on track

Track Rats

In order to keep away from incarceration, we hit the East course at Spring Mountain.

Active Rev Match comes normal on the SS 1LE along with GM’s trick No-Lift Shift — turning upshifting and downshifting into a video game. This frees up cognitive energy to concentrate on what genuinely matters: eating apexes.

All the goodness gained from the SS 1LE’s magnetorheological damping comes with 1 caveat the suspension is not the very best communicator. Because body motion is so well controlled, the automobile merely does not have considerably to say, so go ahead and grab as a lot curb as you want. FE4 is straight wizardry on track, giving mortals the capacity to do magnificent items. Initial it ensnares, and then it scares you with its sheer capability.

The V6 1LE is the more talkative of the two. Its conventional FE3 suspension providing superb commentary about what’s happening beneath you, asking you to really feel, and requiring you to participate on a distinct level. Regardless of becoming slower on paper, the V6 enables you to use much more of its potential, providing a more attainable sensation of speed.

What A lot more is There to Say?

Aside from the V6 1LE lacking Active Rev Match (please do it Al Oppenheiser and co.) what much more is there to want for $ 32,895? Greater but, inform me exactly where the $ 44,400 SS 1LE lacks? You could effortlessly every day drive a V6 1LE the automobile is supple adequate to not torture you on the road, and sharp adequate to manage weekend warrior life. Double so for the SS 1LE, though the SS will go through brakes and tires at a faster clip.

The Camaro has usually been a perfect antagonist to the satisfied-go-fortunate Mustang though my time in the desert enlightened me to anything Ford doesn’t seem to know — the Camaro has moved on, operating on a level of fidelity to the church of speed far above any old 5.-liter Mustang. Al and his team are now offering levels of functionality that employed to be exclusively exotic, and for a mere 25 cents on the dollar.

As the mantra goes back at Milford, it’s Camaro vs. Everyone, and this Storm Trooper white SS 1LE is the best embodiment of an empire striking back.

This report 1st appeared on GMInsideNews.

Automobile Critiques – The Truth About Automobiles

2016 Lexus RC-F Evaluation — The Fastest Pumpkin About

2016 Lexus RC-F Front quarter

2016 Lexus RC-F

five.-liter DOHC V8, port and direct injection (467 horsepower @ 7,100 rpm 389 lbs-ft @ four,800 rpm)

Eight-speed automatic

16 city/25 highway/19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

17.2 (Observed, MPG)

Base Cost: $ 63,745*

As Tested: $ 79,355*

*Costs contain $ 940 location charge.

In fairness, I was going as well swiftly even for the interstate. Even then, I’m pretty certain I saw a third numeral flicker on the dash show as I apexed the off-ramp onto the unfamiliar rural divided 4-lane.

Then I saw a black and gold Dodge Charger sitting in the median.

I right away asked myself if I can legitimately create off a speeding ticket as a business expense.

Fortunately, the deputy sheriff was either napping or texting, as the bellowing orange 2016 Lexus RC-F was distinctly conspicuous as I slowed to socially acceptable speeds. I unclenched, took a breath, and continued in search of much more enjoyable roads.

2016 Lexus RC-F orange profileAnd get pleasure from I did.

I do not know if I can call the Lexus RC-F stunning with a straight face. It is purposeful and brutal, definitely, but it’s not an E-Sort Jaguar. The numerous vents, intakes, and flares make a bold statement about the sporting credentials inside.

2016 Lexus RC-F orange front

My tester had the optional $ five,500 Overall performance Package, which adds a carbon fiber roof and rear wing, as well as a trick torque-vectoring differential. Yeah, adding further black accents to the fabulously loud Molten Pearl gave the large Lexus a jack-o’-lantern look, which was a hit at the college drop-off line in mid-October. I loved the appear, nonetheless — it seems to visually decrease the car a bit far more than cars with a painted roof.

2016 Lexus RC-F orange rear

Out back, that carbon rear wing raises itself at speed, or with the push of a button for the entertainment of onlookers. The quadruple exhaust suggestions are a bit showy, but practically nothing about this Lexus is subtle. They are ideal for the character of this beast.

The properly-bolstered front seats in the RC-F are spectacular. Plenty of adjustment fore and aft, up and down, with heated and cooled seats on the Premium Package created my lengthy interstate drive effortless. The $ five,500 package also contains carbon fiber interior trim, mostly beneath the steering column and atop the glove box. It’s not fully convincing, although. Otherwise, the leather and sueded leather-like material — Alcantara? — is appropriately plush.

2016 Lexus RC-F Seats

I can’t speak for the rear seats, even though the tears of my eight-year-old daughter may well. We had a mishap upon commencing her first RC-F ride, exactly where the energy seat returned to a memory position incompatible with her booster-seated legs. Much screaming ensued. Removal of the booster seat allowed her feet to slide below the driver’s seat, and the girls rode with but 1 complaint for the rest of my test.

2016 Lexus RC-F instruments

The issue they voiced loudly was the lack of any sort of handle to brace themselves, or to support extricate themselves from the deep seat bottom. Or, place delicately, there were no “Oh Feces!” handles. When I decided to “enjoy” my drive, and let my spawn to enjoy it along with me, they would slide against the interior panels with force. Hence, my time experimenting with and exploiting the a variety of overall performance settings was restricted to solo drives.

It’s the engine that is the huge story here. 467 horsepower from a 5.-liter V8 is nonetheless impressive, although most pony vehicles make related energy. The eight-speed automatic transmission, even though definitely shiftable through paddle or lever, is a letdown — I’d really like to attempt this with a six-speed manual. Sport and Sport Plus drive modes, selected through a knob just to the appropriate of the shifter, do make the transmission shift far more aggressively, holding gears a bit longer, particularly in Sport Plus. The transmission slams firmly into each and every gear with the throttle pinned, and will blip the throttle during downshifts to preserve the rear from becoming also unsettled.

2016 Lexus RC-F engine

The truly trick bit is the TVD button for the optional Torque-Vectoring Differential, element of the Efficiency Package. Rather than a standard Torsen limited-slip as fitted to the standard RC-F, the TVD allows for electronic biasing of torque to the rear wheels primarily based on driving behavior. Between Typical, Slalom, and Track settings, the differential will adjust how the rear of the car drives – and importantly for your neighborhood tire dealer, how it slides.

As opposed to the IS Turbo I lately sampled, this RC-F utilizes a touchpad interface for the navigation and entertainment systems. It’s positioned immediately aft of the shift lever, and just ahead of an extended lip for the center console storage lid. It performs effectively, but can be a bit sensitive. I identified when driving even though wearing a coat with loose sleeves, these sleeves would sometimes brush the touchpad and choose diverse radio stations. I even sleeve-dialed my wife as soon as.

The optional ($ 2,610!) navigation worked smoothly otherwise, and the the usually-stellar Mark Levinson audio program had no troubles fighting the noise from the wide Michelins.

2016 Lexus RC-F dashboard

Between standard commuting, a two-hour early morning highway cruise, and a 4-hour return via the curviest roads I could find, I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of the brilliant Lexus. Beyond road noise from the sticky tires and the boisterous exhaust note when exploring the deeper reaches of the correct pedal, the Lexus was practically as serene as a more staid ES sedan. The ride was firm over pockmarked Ohio freeways, but never jarring or unpleasant.

When I encountered the twisties, the RC-F woke up. I turned the selector to Sport Plus, switched the TVD to Slalom mode, and attacked the hills of southern Ohio. Set up like this, I found the Lexus would happily bring the rear around when driven enthusiastically, but it wouldn’t turn into a tire-smoking drift monster.

I wasn’t brave and/or stupid sufficient to attempt turning off the traction and stability controls — I wasn’t on the track, and therefore had no cause to activate either the in-dash lap timer nor my AAA membership.

It is generally a pony car, but with a posh twist. While it certainly compares nicely to an M4 or a C63, a Mustang GT or Camaro SS are all-natural options. It occupies an fascinating spot in the market place, as the Lexus buyer can select rowdy and refined in a single package.

2016 Lexus RC-F orange rear quarter

Lexus provided the car and a tank of fuel for objective of this review.

[Images: © 2016 Chris Tonn/The Truth About Cars]

Auto Critiques – The Truth About Cars

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Evaluation – Shhh, Don’t Say Its Name

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Image: FCA

If you weren’t in on the secret, a lot of this morning’s presentation at the Park Hyatt Aviara would have made no sense. A series of 4 FCA personnel stood up to talk about the new 124 Spider, which was behind them to stage correct. On stage left was a pristine Euro-bumpered 124 Sport Spider from the late ’60. Every of them talked about “what’s changed on the vehicle.”

“It’s 5 inches longer, with all-new exterior sheetmetal,” 1 presenter mentioned. “It’s got an aluminum panel in the folding roof, and thicker rear glass,” yet another noted. “The suspension tuning is fully various,” stated yet an additional. I could see the confusion on the faces of some of the older auto journos from the newspapers. It is five inches longer than the original 124? It’s got thicker rear glass? The suspension is diverse? Properly, duh, appropriate? For a lot more than an hour, Fiat’s marketing and advertising, styling and engineering personnel talked about “what’s changed on the vehicle.”

There was the word that never ever escaped anybody’s lips, not a single time. Even when I raised my hand to ask “how the weight compares,” I couldn’t quite bring myself to say the word. But we can say it here on TTAC: Miata. The new Fiat 124 Spider is based on the ND-generation Mazda Miata, the auto that your humble author drove in Spain a year and a half ago and which has been fairly justifiably hailed as the finest modest roadster of this century. The 124 Spider is assembled proper next to the Miata in Japan, with a “J” VIN. The principal distinction: where the Miata has a 2.-liter Skyactiv typically-aspirated 4-cylinder, the 124 has the turbo 1.four-liter MultiAir four-banger from the Fiat 500 Abarth, constructed in Italy and shipped to Mazda’s assembly line.

Fiat would favor that we didn’t mention the Miata. But, as we’ll see, the 124 Spider need not worry any comparisons with its retailer-branded sibling. Fairly the contrary, in fact.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider and 1968 Fiat 124 Spider, Image: FCA

As fate would have it, two weeks ago I had the likelihood to put about 400 miles on a fully-loaded Miata as part of a piece I’m doing for R&ampT subsequent month. It was my very first likelihood to drive a 2.-liter, U.S.-spec ND Miata and I have to say that I was utterly stunned by just how close the tiny Mazda comes to perfection. Every thing about that Miata is in best balance. The chassis, the engine, and the handle weighting — all but not possible to improve upon.

What a relief, consequently, to see that Fiat didn’t even try to increase on it. Alternatively, they took that central, perfected character of the Miata and shattered it, producing three wonderful automobiles from one best one particular. I’ll clarify. You see, all Miatas are generally the identical. Certain, you can get a handful of distinct trim levels, but that’s all they are — diverse selection packages that sit quite lightly on a single vital character. If you don’t like the MX-5 Club, you will not like the Grand Touring, and vice versa.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Lusso, Image: FCA

With the 124, on the other hand, the three accessible trim levels every represent a fundamental change in the car’s mission. Commence with Classica, the $ 25,990 base model. I started my morning by driving a grey six-speed manual Classica via about 40 miles of San Diego canyon roads. It is significantly quieter than the Miata, even best down, and it rides quite softly. The interior, even so, is primarily identical to what you get in a base Miata, proper down to the three metal-finish knobs that manage the climate manage. Grip from the 16-inch tire package is modest, and the suspension floats a bit when you encounter sharp dips or rises in the road.

I’m a veteran of a lot of miles and years in the original Fiat Spiders. This Classica is the truest to those comparatively modest roadsters, built as cheaply as possible by sullen union labor with cheap steel and massively aromatic vinyl. There was nothing luxurious or even exotic about the first 124 Spider. It’s greatest to think of it as an Italian take on the Karmann Ghia, throwing a spectacular physique on prosaic underpinnings and a twin-cam head on the very same engine that took much of Italy to operate each day.

The stellar unity of the Miata is missing from the Classica. It doesn’t deal with very as nicely as I’d like and the MultiAir, like most modern day turbo motors, would rather you skip the final thousand revs in favor of a quick-shift method that rides the meat of the torque curve. The net impact is to undermine that jinba ittai just a bit. It doesn’t feel as special as the auto from which it’s derived. As an actual, practical day-to-day driver, nevertheless, it is miles ahead. The NVH improvements reduce driver fatigue, and the turbo engine tends to make maintaining up with traffic effortless. I would recommend the Classica more than the Miata for anybody who does not have an active racing license.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Interior, Image: FCA

That goes double, even triple, for the Lusso, which adds leather upholstery and the capability to add a wide variety of optional extras for just beneath twenty-nine grand. The Lusso that I drove had an automatic transmission. LJK Setright famously mentioned that the turbo engine and the torque-converter automatic transmission have been perfect partners, due to the fact “one will be at operate when the other is not.” I suspect that the vast majority of Spiders in this nation will be automatic Lussos — and you know what? It is an absolutely brilliant car. I was prepared to despise it, but 30 miles behind the wheel was enough to make me a believer. The Aisin-sourced automatic is direct and beautifully programmed, keeping the turbo on the boil and catapulting the Lusso forward with actual authority. With the prime up, I located myself going really rapidly without having really planning to.

I’ve by no means had any affection at all for auto-transmission Miatas, but the 124 Lusso is basically a wonderful car. It’s quiet, it’s comfortable, and it is definitely no hassle to drive. The nearest competitor with the very same virtues would have to be the Mercedes SLK250, which expenses practically twice as a lot. It is not the 124 that I’d choose for myself, but there’s extremely little to criticize about it. Incidentally, the 1st one particular hundred and twenty-four Spiders to be delivered to this nation will be particular electric-blue Lussos with a Prima Edizione equipment package. They’ll be $ 35,995 and I’d imagine that they are all spoken for currently.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider, Image: © 2016 Jack Baruth/The Truth About Cars

As good as the Classica and Lusso are, I’d still personally take a Miata Club or Grand Touring for my personal garage. The 124 Abarth, on the other hand … oh man. Just appear at it. That flat-black hood and trunk, the Brembo calipers, the scorpion badging. It’s aggressive in a way that no factory Miata has ever been. Fiat set up an autocross course at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego especially to show the Abarth off. They stated that we could have “unlimited runs.” Following my ninth run, it was recommended to me that I take a break. Like, a long break.

Without having that suggestion, I’d have driven that course for yet another hour. Possibly two. The Abarth is just brilliant. The MultiAir is uncorked a bit by a quad-pipe exhaust that supposedly raises horsepower to 164. There’s an Abarth-branded aftermarket exhaust accessible as well that makes the Fiat sound like a miniature Ferrari 488. I suggest it. Attempt to forgive me for saying “1.6 liter” during the cooldown lap in the video, by the way!

20160609_132126

The six-speed manual transmission, sourced from the NC-generation Miata, has shorter, sharper throws than the new-gen box in the ND. It’s completely self-confidence inspiring. The chassis, as properly, is beyond reproach, allowing the tail to be thrown and caught in third gear with reckless abandon. The front end has all the grip that’s missing in the Classica and the stiffer suspension removes each the float and the mild fore-and-aft pitch that affects the Classica, the Lusso, and the Miata itself.

The Classica departs from the Miata formula to add every day usability the Lusso leaves it to give grand-touring comfort. The Abarth is like a tuner Miata low, angry, fast to respond. Speaking of tuning: there are shops that are acquiring 230 horsepower out of the 500 Abarth for a couple grand. The Abarth starts at $ 30,540. Anticipate to see them in Friday-evening street-race lots across the nation next year, snorting and popping and hissing below exaggerated boost pressure. There’s anything amusing about the reality that the Miata is ultimately offered in a variant that will command the respect of young males all they had to do was place a snail on the thing and roll hardware-shop paint on the hood. I totally adore it.

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, Image: FCA

The best way to recognize the 124 Spider is this: it’s a 4-wheeled Bimota. Some of you will recognize Bimota as the Italian motorcycle manufacturer that wraps Italian chassis and styling about verified Japanese engines. In the ’80s, when Suzuki and Yamaha have been putting killer powerhouse inline-fours in rather dodgy perimeter frames, the Bimotas were unstoppable. The issue with them was that all of the Italian stuff, especially the wiring, was topic to variable high quality control.

This Fiat should provide the identical bulletproof engineering and assembly top quality that makes Miatas such fantastic extended-term ownership propositions, but it also has Italian styling and a powertrain that just speaks with far more authority than the relatively anodyne Skyactiv 2.-liter in the Mazda-branded car. There’s no value penalty, and the weight penalty of about 100 pounds is nicely worth it for anyone who values peace and quiet on the freeway. I will not say that it’s a greater vehicle than the Miata I do not feel it is. But it hits some really distinct marks in a way that its sibling can not.

Casual roadster fans will love the automatic Lusso. The Classica is arguably better value than the base MX-5. And that Abarth? It is enough to make you neglect that word that we weren’t supposed to say in today’s media briefing.

Auto Evaluations – The Truth About Automobiles

2016 Dodge Durango Limited RWD Rental Evaluation

2016 Dodge Durango Limited Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

There positive has been a lot of talk about crossovers around right here lately, hasn’t there? Regardless of your opinion on owning a CUV, it is challenging to deny the functionality that a 3-row CUV offers the organization and/or pleasure rental client. The capacity to carry an complete sales group to a meeting, as well as some presentation components and suitcases? Useful. The capability to take a loved ones of five to the beach, such as assorted coolers and pool toys? Useful.

For that reason, gents, if you completely should have a crossover for your rental or private needs, well, you might as properly have the manliest damn crossover cash can get. That honor goes to the 2016 Dodge Durango. Ladies, I have a feeling that you will appreciate the big D, too. Let me to share my thoughts with you from the week I spent in the ATL with FCA’s entry in the hotly-contested three-row segment.

2016 Dodge Durango Limited Badge, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

If you are anything like me (and really, who is not?), you most likely have a difficult time remembering what the hell all of the a variety of Dodge trim levels imply. My Durango was of the Limited RWD range, meaning that it sits squarely in the middle of the lineup — beneath the pimpin-pimpin’ Citadel and HEMI-powered R/T, but above the SXT and SXT Plus. Except for the R/T, all Durangos are gifted with FCA’s ubiquitous 3.six-liter Pentastar V6, which dishes out an impressive 290 horsepower in this particular application. You also get the placidly smooth eight-speed 845RE automatic transmission in all non-R/T models, which assists make the Pentastar even more delightful to pilot.

Stepping up to the Restricted gets you a whole host of upgrades, like the uConnect eight.four-inch touchscreen, regular leather-trimmed heated seats in the 1st and second rows, a rearview camera, and the choice to add a DVD entertainment program for your offspring. You also get a blingy badge that says “LIMITED” because Dodge just does not employ a single designer that desires understated particulars.

2016 Dodge Durango uConnect, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

The uConnect eight.four is reason sufficient to bump up those month-to-month payments a bit. Even though it is not specifically user-friendly for the rental buyer trying to figure out exactly how to reduced the headrests in the third-row seats, the interface moves quickly and smoothly by way of the a variety of menus. Almost every little thing that you’d want to handle as the driver — from music to climate controls — is handled via the uConnect interface. The Durango will even recognize cold exterior and interior temperatures upon start off-up and instantly offer you you the option to turn on the heated driver and passenger seats, as well as the heated steering wheel. That is a function I appreciated greatly during the unseasonably cold Atlanta mornings.

2016 Dodge Durango Steering Wheel, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Inexplicably, straight behind that sizzling steering wheel, Dodge saw fit to place some utterly useless paddle shifters. While there is some thing satisfying about manually ripping by means of eight gears, I speedily decided that it was a pointless exercise. The 845RE was a lot far better than I was at selecting the proper gear, and I just felt stupid shifting gears in a crossover that weighs 4,838 pounds. Possibly there’s an application for towing or something? I do not tow a lot, but the D is rated for max towing at 7,400 lbs, which is fairly goddamn impressive.

2016 Dodge Durango Front Seats, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

However in spite of this formidable strength and rugged exterior appearance, the Durango is not completely unpleasant inside. Whilst I locate the Durango to be subpar in comparison to the nicer interiors in the class (think Toyota Highlander), it is not as bad as some would have you think. The seating is comfortable and supportive, and there is much more than adequate head and shoulder area in each the very first and second row. I didn’t invest any time in the third row, since it should be for youngsters and emotional assistance dogs.

Nevertheless, there are a few areas where the Durango falls short of expectations, and the very first is in the visibility division. The fifth-generation Camaro is a virtual Willis Tower Skydeck in comparison to the Durango. As somebody who is correct about the exact same height as your standard Durango driver (which is to say, slightly taller than most females and Jalopnik writers), I discovered it impossible to place myself in a seating position that enabled me to see clearly and safely in all directions. Altering lanes was a complete crapshoot I mainly hoped that other drivers could see me and gave them appropriate time to steer clear of the black behemoth headed in their general direction.

2016 Dodge Durango Rear 3/4, Image: © 2016 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

The second issue is in the realm of fuel economy. In the fairly flat Atlanta metropolitan location, and even even though I didn’t drive for the duration of rush hour targeted traffic, I wasn’t capable to coax a lot more than 17 mpg out of the Dodge, and that is with the horrifically invasive and earth-shaking start off/cease technology enabled. It is the worst fuel economy I’ve ever knowledgeable in a crossover, period. Hell, I utilized to get equivalent fuel economy in a Honda Pilot … while towing a Honda S2000 CR on a trailer behind it. Dodge claims a class-top 27 mpg, and I just can’t understand how anybody could possibly get that number without a Ram truck pulling it downhill with a tow strap.

That becoming said, from a driver’s point of view, the Durango Restricted is the most engaging and effective crossover you can get for the money. It even sounds strong, with an exhaust note that matches its masculine presence. If you can actually see the gaps in targeted traffic from the driver’s seat, the Durango can shoot any of them. While the Pentastar does the job, it made me lust a bit for the Hemi-powered R/T Durango, since everyone knows what Baron Acton said about power.

The Durango is the crossover for the guy who doesn’t truly want a crossover. It manages to do what the Explorer couldn’t very, which is make the transition from body-on-frame SUV to CUV even though preserving a muscular visage and muscular functionality. The Durango Limited, equipped as my rental was with navigation and energy liftgate, retails for $ 38,885. It looks more funds than that, it drives a lot more money than that, and it feels solid as hell. In this segment, I’ve always been in favor of Flex Uber Alles, but if you can only have 1 car, I’d choose the D.


The Truth About Cars » Auto Critiques

Reader Evaluation: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta GLI

2013 Volkswagen GLI, Image: Ian Carder

(Please give a warm welcome to Ian, who has 40,000 miles on his Jetta GLI! — JB)

About three years ago, I was the owner of a 2004 Ford Focus SVT two door and simultaneously the dad of a one-year-old youngster. Our loved ones automobile was a 2008 Saturn Vue. A single day I got a get in touch with from my wife telling me that the Saturn wasn’t shifting into second anymore. Fortunately the Saturn’s powertrain warranty covered what ended up getting a clutch pack failure.

Thanks to the factory warranty, at initial it seemed like the biggest hassle of the incident was going to be the sketchy tow truck guy who didn’t have a parking brake on his truck and had to resort to using part of a broom manage wedged against the brake pedal and the truck’s bench seat to keep the truck from moving even though the Vue was loaded onto the bed. It turns out this wasn’t the largest hassle. That was reserved for a week of loading my daughter in and out of a rear facing seat on a two door hatchback.


Volkswagen GLI

A week of that routine was sufficient for me to swiftly contemplate a 4 door. To be fair, the Concentrate was obtaining to the point exactly where some suspension bits needed to be replaced along with some electrical oddities popping up from a 1990s-spec aftermarket alarm installation. It was time to move on.

I starting hunting for a 4 door. The only non-negotiable point: it had to have a manual transmission. I spent hours creating automobiles and reading critiques, agonizing more than specifics like miles per gallon and horsepower. I looked at new automobiles such as the Honda Civic Si, Subaru WRX, the then-just-released Ford Focus ST, and pre-owned options such as the BMW 328 sedans and Audi A4.

I wasn’t comfortable going down the pre-owned route due to the perceived ongoing maintenance charges on a German auto that already had 30,000 miles on the odometer, so I ruled out that choice swiftly. The Civic Si had its significantly-maligned two.four-liter engine that couldn’t rev like the older 2.-liter mill. The Ford dealers wouldn’t let me test drive the ST, so that was out. The WRX was difficult to pin down due to a lack of available neighborhood stock. I finally got to drive a hatch while it was quickly and I’m sure lots of exciting, I wasn’t a enormous fan of the styling or the five-speed gearbox.

While doing some study on the Civic, I ended up coming across a TTAC comparison featuring a 2012 Civic against a 2012 Jetta GLI. I hadn’t even realized the GLI existed! The far more I dug into it, the more it seemed like a great fit. We went to the closest VW dealer and took it for a test drive. The sales guy told us to load up the automobile seat and just take it out. The vehicle seat fit in easily with lots of legroom to spare for the front seats. The trunk was large and could accommodate all the kid help gear you end up toting about, which includes a bulky Jeep-branded 3-wheel stroller. It was much more comfy than the Focus and got the wife’s approval. We did a deal and, some time right after closing, I hit the road in a 2013 GLI, comprehensive with the obligatory box of junk from the traded-in Focus.

Now, 40,000 miles later, I nonetheless believe I made the appropriate option. While the Jetta is down on power compared to its competitors — at just 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of torque from the two. TSI engine — it has adequate for daily driving or spirited jaunts on back roads. My old Concentrate had 30 less horsepower and 50 significantly less pounds-feet of torque. The smaller sized turbo keeps the energy band broad adequate that you’re rarely forced to downshift when the revs drop below 2,500 rpm. Under that you commence to notice some turbo lag, but it isn’t considerably result in for concern for the duration of standard driving, such as running errands or driving to operate. I have read there’s a lockout for the throttle when the brake is applied, but I haven’t skilled it.

The car has noticeable “rev hang.” I thought the clutch was slipping the first time I experienced it under tough acceleration. The electric assisted steering is light at low speeds and loads up when cornering. You can’t tell a whole lot of what’s taking place with the road surface, but the relative numbness is not a drawback as a daily driver. The ride is firm but not punishing and only turns into a teeth gritting moment when you hit an unavoidable pothole. Most of that is due to the heavy 19-inch alloy wheels.

The six-speed manual transmission is pretty accurate. I don’t thoughts the longer throws, but I may be attempting out a brief throw shifter if I ever make any modifications in the future. From inside the auto, you get a faked Subaru boxer engine burble-like sound courtesy of VW’s Soundaktor device. There’s constantly a concern about extended-term reliability with Volkswagens so far, I haven’t had significantly to be concerned about.

Inside, it turns into a real dad automobile. Beneath the layer of grime, kid size nine footprints, and Rice Krispies sits lots of simply wipe-capable surfaces. There is a healthy quantity of challenging plastic all through the interior brought from the reduce spec models with a smattering of soft touch materials on the dash and arm rest. The seats are covered in VW’s V-Tex Leatherette, which is a fully synthetic rubber-like leather. I’d enjoy to have actual leather, but at this time of my life, I’m far better off with the fake stuff.

The complete interior operates well as a dad mobile. It’s just good sufficient to not hate being in each and every time I drive it, but fake sufficient that I can clean it with something accessible like our never ever ending stock of organic child wipes that we accrued over the years. There’s a squeak from the rear deck and, according to the web, there’s a repair involving a tennis ball. The sound technique by Fender works well adequate and doesn’t distort. The steering wheel is a flat bottom unit that feels good in your hands and adds to the sense of sportiness. It is a bit unnecessary, certain, but I’m fine with that. The GLI has subtle styling adjustments over the base and SE models, with a honeycomb grill, trim accents, and a lip spoiler. The Autobahn edition comes with bigger 19-inch alloy wheels, which I managed to clip a curb with a week soon after owning it. The outdoors is fairly regular Volkswagen Auto Group.

Volkswagen GLI

Lots of legroom for for the class. Also, grime.

The Jetta’s infotainment program is quite fundamental and does the job, but it’s far from cutting edge. The voice commands perform only sometimes. When my telephone can’t pair to the automobile via Bluetooth, it can call for shutting the auto off and on to get every thing back on the web. Considerably of this could be updated by means of software program fixes, but however, makers are not going to waste their time bug fixing these problems. They’re content to send me gives to update the maps for my navigation for more than $ one hundred, nonetheless, so there’s that. The Jetta has the old proprietary MDI device cable with the Apple 30-pin connector end (iPhone 4s and older). The cable itself lives in the glove box and is lengthy enough that you have to bend it to fit a plugged in telephone in the glove box. Because of the stiffness of the cable, you will hit the initial bump on your journey and the connector will pop out of the phone. I have a newer phone so the cable is useless as is.

Volkswagen GLI

The GLI is not a “sports sedan” but it is a sporty sedan, which makes the day-to-day drive a lot more enjoyable than it would be in a lot of loved ones sedans and mixes in sufficient practicality and exciting in a reasonably priced package. It is 1 of the handful of possibilities if you want a sedan. It is not hard to discover in showrooms, and it should certainly be available at a discount offered the platform’s age and recent diesel-associated corporate embarrassments. For anybody searching for a loved ones sedan, with a manual and at a affordable value, you could do far worse — or, at least, far much more mundane — than the GLI.


The Truth About Vehicles » Automobile Testimonials

2016 Audi S7 Evaluation – The Coupé With Also Several Doors [Video]

2016 Audi S7 Exterior Front

2016 Audi S7

four.0L DOHC V8, direct-injection, turbocharged, CVVT, cylinder deactivation (450 horsepower @ five,800-six,400 rpm 406 lbs-ft @ 1,400-5,700)

7-speed dual-clutch automated manual

17 city/27 highway/21 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

19.1 (Observed, MPG)

Base Cost: $ 83,825*

As Tested: $ 95,900*

* Rates include $ 925 location charge.

Coupé-like styling is one particular of the largest buzzwords at new vehicle launch parties. Even though this is a lot more of a modern phenomenon, the root of the seemingly contradictory 4-door coupé is older than you may possibly believe.

In 1962, Rover dropped the rear roofline on its P5 sedan and dared to contact it a four-door coupé. In 2004, Mercedes picked up on this concept with the CLS-class Coupe. It was only a matter of time prior to Audi and BMW joined the celebration with the A7 and 6-Series Gran Coupé.

Now, several of you might say we currently have a name for the 4-door coupé. It’s a sedan. I agree with you. Audi isn’t totally convinced by the “coupé” designation either, and they only dare mention it twice in the 62-web page brochure. This signifies the S7 is a $ 12,000 styling exercise atop a tasty and a lot more practical S6.

Exterior
The way BMW, Mercedes and Audi arrived at their four-door coupés is important to understanding the differences among them.

Mercedes took the E-Class, stretched it, slammed the roofline, removed the sills on the doors, pinched the rear end and — voila! — say hello to the CLS. Audi did anything similar with the A6 but took things a step additional by reworking the rear finish to accommodate its signature liftback. BMW didn’t “coupe-ify” the 5-Series. Alternatively, it took the existing six-Series two-door and stretched it until it could accept a second set of doors. Though Audi describes the S7 on occasion as a five-door, it is hard to inform from the outdoors because the rear is made to hide the truth that the glass lifts with the trunk lid.

2016 Audi S7 Exterior Rear

Audi subscribes to the “same sausage, diverse lengths” school of design — except with the R8 and the A7/S7. Whilst the front end is nevertheless very significantly the identical as the S6, the rear end is a lot a lot more dramatic with powerful lines and creases replacing the “bubbly” theme employed by some Audis. 2015 brings new LED headlamps and taillamps with a “Y” shaped accent strip bisecting the module reminiscent of Volvo’s Notion Coupe and XC90. (In case you had been questioning, the Volvo idea came 1st.) The rest of the conversion from S6 to S7 consisted of adding normal LED headlamps, removing the window sills and integrating a spoiler into the liftback that pops up at 80 mph so the cops know you are speeding to reduce rear-finish lift at larger speeds.

2016 Audi S7 Interior-004

Interior
The relation of the S7 to the A6, the CLS to the E-Class and the Gran Coupé to the 6-Series is critical on the inside.

BMW positioned its 6-Series 2-door decently above the 5-Series and priced it $ 17,000 larger than the least costly 5. This signifies while the A7 and S7 use an interior that is largely shared with the $ 46,200 A6 2.0T, and the CLS shares its insides with the $ 52,650 E250, the 650i Gran Coupé has an interior shared only inside the six-Series line and largely special from both the 5-Series and the 7-Series — though some parts are shared. As a outcome, the interiors of the Mercedes and Audi four-door coupe just don’t really feel as particular or as distinctive as the BMW. This distinction is most notable in the design of the dashboard. The S7 gets the head-up display that is optional on the A6. Unlike most luxury vehicles that use a slightly diverse dashboard design when HUD equipped, Audi tacks a massive “donut” on top of the gauge binnacle to residence the projection unit.

Although headroom is far more restricted up front than numerous luxury sedans that are this identical length, there is nevertheless adequate room for my 6-foot frame and a six-foot-5 passenger. The back seat is a various matter. Like the BMW and Mercedes, there just isn’t adequate area for a 6-foot passenger to sit comfortably for any length of time. Though the A7 will seat three shorter people in the back, the S7 loses the middle seat, dropping the total seat count to four. This tends to make the S6 the much more practical individuals carrier as it has a generous quantity of rear headroom and legroom.

Although rear passenger space is surely much less sensible compared to the A6/S6, Audi compensates with a much more sensible cargo region. Thanks to the liftback design and rear seats that fold practically flat, you can truly jam a barbeque from your neighborhood home improvement shop in the back, or a large flat screen Tv. The difficult tonneau cover is less hassle-free than a roller-shade style unit, but it offers a lot more separation from your luggage when the rear seats are latched in location.

2016 Audi S7 Interior MMI

Infotainment
Audi’s MMI infotainment system has not too long ago received a key overhaul with new hardware and a faster graphics processor. The new hardware allows for smoother animation and screen changes, but we nonetheless don’t discover expanded voice commands for USB/iDevice media library control like those found in Lexus, Cadillac and Acura autos. The refreshed computer software adds assistance for a few new Net-connected characteristics such as INRIX targeted traffic info and Apple Siri Eyes Totally free assistance. Sadly CarPlay and Android Auto had been not along for the ride. On the hardware level, there’s a new LTE cell modem for more quickly downloads and an integrated WiFi hotspot.

The 8-inch LCD at the heart of the system remains unchanged and is still sporting a common aspect ratio, not the widescreen format preferred by BMW. Nestled among the speedometer and tachometer is an optional 7-inch LCD with an expanded feature set that contains a full navigation show with moving 3D map and topographical data. Perhaps the most important change for 2016 may possibly be the simplest: Audi, along with Volkswagen, lastly ditched its proprietary MDI cable. Lifting the center armrest reveals two typical USB ports and you can now connect your device with any old USB cable you have lying around.

2016 Audi S7 Engine 4.0L Twin Turbo-002

Drivetrain
Component of the $ 22,000 value difference amongst the A6 and A7 is identified in the sedan to liftback conversion, and portion is under the hood. Although the A6 has to make do with a base 2.-liter 4-cylinder turbo engine and front-wheel drive, the A7 starts off with normal all-wheel drive and a 333 horsepower, three.-liter supercharged V-6. But we’re right here to talk about the S7, which is about $ 12,000 more than the S6. Like the CLS550 and 650i, the S7 makes use of a twin-turbo V8, but Audi chose a smaller displacement of 4 liters vs four.7 in the Mercedes and four.4 in the BMW.

According to some German scientists, Audi’s displacement is the most efficient option. Thanks to the modern miracle of direct-injection, close-coupled turbochargers and intercooling, power is nonetheless a healthful 450 horsepower and 406 lbs-ft of torque, a 30 horsepower bump vs 2015. Even though Audi has the horsepower advantage compared to 402 in the Merc and 445 in the Bimmer, the Audi’s torque is the lowest in the group at 406 vs 443 in the CLS and 480 in the 650i. If that is not sufficient power, Audi will spool the exact same simple creating blocks up to 560 horsepower and 516 lbs-ft in the RS7.

As we’ve come to anticipate from Audi, all S7 models are all-wheel drive, a major distinction from Mercedes and BMW that offer two-wheel drive by default. Under most circumstances, 60 percent of the energy is sent to the rear in the S7, but Quattro is capable of sending as considerably as 80 percent or as small as 20 percent to the rear. In an interesting twist, the 333 horsepower A7 and 560 horsepower RS7 use a ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic, although the S7 uses a 7-speed dual clutch transaxle manufactured by Borg Warner. Apparently, the DCT is rated for a maximum of 406 lb-ft of torque, which explains why power got bumped recently but torque stayed the very same.

Thanks to the effective displacement decision, the torque-converter-cost-free transaxle (that is the correct term because Audi integrates the front axle into the transmission case), a variable displacement system that turns off half the cylinders when not necessary and a common start off/stop method, fuel economy is the highest in this telephone-booth-sized segment. At 17 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, the S7 beats even the two-wheel-drive competition by at least 1 mpg on the highway and matches their rear-wheel drive city numbers. In the real world, generating more than 400 horsepower needs a specific amount of fuel and driving any of them challenging on your favourite road will result in fuel economy in the low teens.

2016 Audi S7 Interior Steering Wheel

Drive
The style of Audi’s all-wheel-drive system pushes the engine and torque converter totally ahead of the front axle, but its weight is a lot more evenly distributed than the CLS 550 4Matic. In fact at 55/45 (front/rear), the S7 is very close to the 650i xDrive’s 53/47 weight distribution. This signifies that the occasional complaints of the “Audi plowed in the corners” doesn’t truly apply to the S7 any much more than it does the Merc or BMW.

Even though I choose the feel of a rear-wheel-drive CLS or 6-Series out on a track, the S7 is the much better handling automobile in the genuine world. Element of the reason is Audi’s tire choice. While most luxury sedans feature a staggered tire design and style, the S7 gets the very same tire on all 4 corners — either 265/35R20s or 275/30R21s as our model was equipped. 265-width rubber is unusually big up front and the list of vehicles that run 275s on the front axle is even shorter. Even though this option would generally lead to heavy steering and possibly reduced steering really feel, we live in an era of electric energy steering so things are pretty numb anyway.

In spite of becoming 300-pounds heavier than the Mercedes CLS 550 4Matic, the wider front tires and common suspension design and style make the S7 quite just the better companion on your preferred winding road. It’s also the more quickly companion. Put the pedal to the floor and the S7 scoots to 60 in a blistering 3.9 seconds. If you’re wondering why this is so far off Audi’s official 4.five second run there are two factors. The initial one is that Audi, like BMW, has been underrating items for a although. Second, Audi never updated their official numbers after providing the S7 a power bump and software program refinements. Searching into the numbers, even the -30 time of 1.3 seconds is extremely short for a car with no a torque converter.

2016 Audi S7 Exterior-005

Thanks to the huge front tires, the four,564-pound Audi defies physics by stopping from 60 to zero in a recorded 116 feet. Due to the fact the front tires and brakes are undertaking most of the stopping, the S7 brakes shorter than the lighter CLS550 and the slightly heavier 650i simply because of the wider tires.

That wide rubber on the S7 sets it apart from the S6 as effectively. Audi’s traditional sedan only comes with 255 width rubber from the factory and the distinction in confidence level is noticeable when you start pushing the sedans tougher. The grip on the front axle is particularly extreme and instantly noticeable in the S7 when you are driving the automobile hard on tight corners.

For a performance automobile with a 450 horsepower V-8 and a dual clutch transmission, the S7 is surprisingly civilized. Audi’s most current DCT software program permits low-speed crawl nearly on par with a modern automatic. Almost. Unless I was climbing a steep hill at two mph, it was not possible to tell what was beneath the hood. Also unusual is Audi’s decision of a four-corner air suspension along the lines of the Mercedes S-Class, Range Rover and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Like the off-road alternatives with an air suspension, the S7 makes it possible for a “high-height” mode for improved ground clearance when approaching driveways. Thanks to the air bags, the S7’s ride is also highly polished for this segment. On the down side, air suspensions do really feel “floaty-boaty” when compared to a conventional steel coil setup. The suspension selection makes the S7 the most comfortable for day-to-day driving.

2016 Audi S7 Exterior Rear-002

Right after a week with the S7, my thoughts was produced up. If funds was no object, I’d take the 650i Gran Coupé. The 6 has a much more distinctive interior, the rear-wheel-drive dynamic is much more exciting on a track, I favor iDrive to MMI and the ZF 8-Speed auto in the BMW is a hair smoother. For these of us that make our own money, even so, the S7 is the very best overall choose.

The 2016 Audi S7 may not be as special inside, or as tail happy as the 650i, but the BMW is merely not $ ten,000 far better than the Audi. A base 650i expenses about the exact same as our nicely equipped S7, yet it lacks all-wheel drive and isn’t as fast to highway speeds. On the Mercedes side, the S550 is significantly less pricey than the S7 by a couple grand, but it’s not a much better deal. The S7 is at least a few grand nicer on the inside, is quicker and delivers a much more polished ride.

I realise that a few outlets have complained about the S7’s air ride suspension and common all-wheel drive. Whilst I admit the rear-wheel-drive Mercedes and BMW are more fun on a track exactly where you can explore the two-wheel drive dynamics and the Audi’s air suspension feels a lot more boat-like, I do not reside and commute on a track. For the typical purchaser, the S7 is merely easier to reside with. The funny factor is the S7 is so easy to live with and at the identical time so insanely fast that I honestly see little reason to upgrade to the RS7, CLS AMG or M6 Gran Coupé.

There’s just one particular problem: The Audi S6. No, it is not as attractive as the S7 and it doesn’t deal with as effectively either. However, it is about $ ten,000 significantly less pricey when comparably equipped. Much like the S7 vs 650i comparison, the S7 just is not $ ten,000 far better than the S6. Due to the fact of the path Audi took to produce the S7, it does not have a special interior to support soften the blow either. If my money had been on the line, I’d take the S6 and invest the ten grand on wider tires.

Audi supplied the vehicle, insurance coverage and one particular tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested:

-30: 1.three

-60: 3.9

1/four Mile: 12.three @ 112 MPH


The Truth About Cars » Auto Evaluations