No. 992
April 17, 2019
 

About The UjianNasional@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of Ujian-nasional.info.

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On The Surface


Monday
Apr152019

APRIL 17, 2019 

(Ford) 
Ford thinks that consumers interested in the Focus RS - which is going away - will flock to a Mustang powered by the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost high-performance 4-cylinder engine. Ford says that its new High Performance Package for the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost® creates the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker. The new Mustang began as a five-person skunkworks project in the Ford Performance garage. Following an experiment with a Focus RS engine swap, the Mustang team completed the design-to-approval process for the 2.3L High Performance Package in just under ten months. To make their project a reality, members of the Mustang team traveled to Valencia, Spain, home of the Ford Performance-tuned 2.3-liter engine, to convince plant management to build a new variant of the turbocharged four-cylinder specifically for Mustang. Then, with the Ford Performance-designed engine as a starting point, they tuned the EcoBoost to more broadly and responsively deliver a projected 330HP and 350 lb.-ft. of torque achieved with premium fuel. The engineering team specified a 5 percent larger 63-millimeter twin-scroll turbo compressor and a larger radiator, then calibrated the engine to run both Ford’s 10-speed SelectShift® automatic and 6-speed Getrag manual transmission. The 2020 Mustang 2.3L High Performance Package is designed to run 0-60 in the mid-four-second range on premium fuel, with top speed increasing to 155 mph, a 10 mph gain over the 2019 EcoBoost Performance Package and 34 mph faster than the base EcoBoost Mustang. “It’s not just the horsepower gains over the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost, it’s the broader torque curve that delivers 90 percent of peak torque between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm, which is 40 percent wider than the base EcoBoost engine,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “Plus, horsepower holds stronger up to the 6,500-rpm redline – enabling more usable power and torque for enthusiasts and weekend autocrossers to enjoy.” Helping to deliver 143 horsepower per liter, the new 2.3L High Performance Package includes a fully active quad-tip exhaust system with a signature tuned sound. The suspension gets tweaked too. An available EcoBoost Handling Package includes semi-metallic brakes, specially calibrated MagneRide® dampers and a TORSEN® 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle. Wider 19x9.5-inch premium painted aluminum wheels with 265/40R Pirelli P Zero Corsa4 summer tires provide traction, while a 24-millimeter solid rear sway bar, up from 21.7 millimeters, improves handling balance. The new EcoBoost Handling Package is available exclusively on the 2020 Mustang EcoBoost fastback coupe with the 2.3L High Performance Package with either 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission. The 2020 Ford Mustang with 2.3L High Performance Package arrives at dealerships this fall. Editor-in-Chief's Note: Will Focus RS fans be interested? No. The Mustang is a completely different car with a totally different character. I applaud the effort, but the premise of attracting Focus RS enthusiasts is just flat-out wishful thinking. -PMD
(Audi images) 
Audi of America is introducing an all-new, second-generation 2019 Q3 at this year’s New York International Auto Show. Featuring an all-new powertrain, standard quattro® all-wheel drive, new exterior design tweaks front and rear and many technology and connectivity enhancements, the Q3 will continue to be a strong entry for the Audi brand. The new 2.0-liter TFSI® engine, generates 228HP and 258 lb-ft of torque (28 more horsepower and 51 lb-ft of additional torque over the previous generation). An eight-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission is standard, and it goes 0-60 mph in 7.0 seconds. The Q3 also features a redesigned front five-link suspension and Audi drive select with five different drive modes – comfort, auto, dynamic, offroad, and individual. The new Q3 is 1.5 inches taller, 3.8 inches longer and nearly an inch wider than its predecessor, with more useable passenger and cargo space inside. 
The interior controls on the new Q3 are angled toward the driver. The central elements are a standard 10.25 inch (available 12.3 inch) digital instrument cluster, alongside a standard 8.8-inch (available 10.1 inch) MMI® touch response display. Standard features on the new Q3 interior include a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel; a panoramic sunroof; heated eight-way power driver seat with four-way power lumbar support for the driver; and standard dual zone climate control.
(Mercedes-Benz)
Mercedes-Benz has introduced its Concept GLB at Auto Shanghai. Dubbed the "Baby G-Wagen," it's what an SUV on the company's compact car platform might look like. Mercedes-Benz PR minions say that the Concept GLB "places an emphasis on spaciousness with a robust character." The concept is 182" long, 74" wide, and 75" high and it sits on a 111"-long wheelbase

(Mercedes-Benz images)
Mercedes-Benz is introducing the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 at the New York International Auto Show. The AWD four-door-sedan (called a four-door coupe by Mercedes) is powered by 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder Turbo with 302HP and 295-lb-ft of torque. The CLA 35 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, and it will be available in the U.S. late this year, although no price has been announced as of yet.

(Audi)
The 2019 TT RS makes its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show next week. Audi has made little tweaks throughout the new TT RS, but the important stuff remains: The 2.5-liter TFSI® five-cylinder engine generates 394HP and 354 lb-ft of torque, and the TT RS can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission offers a launch control program. The standard quattro® permanent all-wheel drive system has the ability to send nearly 100 percent of available torque to the rear wheels, and a traction control system, specifically calibrated for the TT RS, manages distribution for optimal acceleration with minimal slip. The refreshed 2019 TT RS will join the Audi Sport model line this spring and is available in seven exterior colors. New for 2019 are Turbo Blue (above), Tango Red metallic, and Kyalami Green. The starting MSRP is $66,900.

(FCA images)
The 2019 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 “Angry Bee” has been approved for NHRA Stock and Super Stock Competition. The 
Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is powered by 392 HEMI® V-8 that delivers 485HP and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. The machine, which can turn a quarter-mile elapsed time of 11.70 seconds at 115 mph, is now "the fastest naturally aspirated, street-legal muscle car," according to Dodge PR minions. The new “Angry Bee” interpretation of the iconic Dodge Super Bee logo marks the front fenders, illuminated Air Catcher headlamps, instrument panel and startup splash screen in gauge cluster. The drag racing-oriented, street-legal Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 is now arriving in FCA US dealerships, and its owners will receive complimentary one-year memberships in the NHRA and National Muscle Car Association (NMCA).


(Mullen Technologies)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: Speaking of hype, this is something called the Qiantu K50 by Mullen. That is all. -PMD

(Nissan)
Editor-in-Chief's Note: I have the utmost respect for what Peter Brock accomplished with his BRE Datsun racing team way back when. The Datsun 510 racer was one my favorite racing cars, for instance. This Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition introduced at the New York show is said to be an homage to Brock's famous Datsun racers, especially the No. 46 240Z that won multiple SCCA Championships with John Morton behind the wheel. Instead, I find it to be just sad. The current "Z" car has long exceeded its "sell by" date and this special edition is a futile attempt at capturing the magic that passed Nissan by decades ago. Pathetic. -PMD
(Mercedes-Benz)
Mercedes-AMG has updated its GLC 63 models for 2020. The SUV and coupe receive a new, more distinctive light design as well as the MBUX infotainment system with AMG-specific functions and displays, new dynamic handling control, AMG DYNAMICS, and a standard electronically controlled locking differential. The SUV and coupe are also the only vehicles in this competitive space powered by an eight-cylinder biturbo. 
The AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine generates 469HP in the 63 models or 503HP in the 63 S, with a maximum torque of 479 and 516 lb-ft, respectively. The GLC 63 Coupe accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, while the 63 S model does it in 3.6 seconds. The top speed is 155 mph (electronically limited) or 174 mph (S model). Other stuff? AMG RIDE CONTROL+ air suspension with adaptive damping adjustment; an electronically controlled differential lock, which is now also standard on all variants, and dynamic engine mounts, which are standard equipment on the S model. The new 2020 models arrive to Mercedes-Benz showrooms late this year.
(Porsche images) 
Porsche continues to celebrate its 70th anniversary of building sports cars by unveiling the production 911 Speedster at the New York International Auto Show. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 4.0 liter flat-six engine capable of up to 9,000 rpm that is also used in the current 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models, the 2019 911 Speedster develops 502HP and 346 lb-ft of torque. The engine in the Speedster has been enhanced with individual throttle bodies that make the throttle response even sharper, similar to the 911 GT3 R race car. The 911 Speedster is available exclusively with a GT Sport six-speed manual transmission. 0 to 60 mph takes 3.8 seconds, with a top track speed is 192 miles per hour. 
The 2019 911 Speedster uses a chassis derived from the 911 GT3 models with a specifically-calibrated rear axle steering system and dynamic engine mounts. 20-inch center lock wheels painted in Satin Black are shod with Ultra High Performance (UHP) tires, while standard PCCB (Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake) deliver consistent braking performance.  
The 2019 911 Speedster is the first such model developed by the Porsche Motorsport department. The low-cut front windshield and side windows as well as the manually operated lightweight fabric top are characteristic for Speedster models that have come before it. The two streamliners atop the rear deck lid are made from carbon fiber. Lightweight construction help keep the weight of the new 911 Speedster down. The front luggage compartment lid, front fenders and rear deck-lid are all made from carbon fiber composite material, while the front and rear fasciae consist of lightweight polyurethane. Standard Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes (PCCB) save about 50 percent from the system weight with grey cast iron rotors. The fabric top does without any automated operation, save for the electrically-operated latch to lock and unlock it. Air conditioning is omitted as standard in the interest of weight savings, but can be added as a no-cost option. Finally, the six-speed manual transmission saves about 9 pounds compared to the seven-speed manual transmission in other 911 Carrera models, and almost 40 pounds compared to a PDK dual clutch unit. The 2019 911 Speedster weighs 3,230 pounds. 
 
 
The interior of the 911 Speedster focuses on the essentials of driving. Lightweight door panels with storage nets and door pulls emphasize the dedication to weight reduction. The standard black leather interior can be supplemented with red stitching for the dashboard and the "Speedster" designation in the headrests. With this option, the door pulls are also fitted in red, and the GT Sport steering wheel is decorated with a red 12 o'clock center marker. The interior trim, which spreads to the gear shift knob as well as the door sill guards with "Speedster" model designation, is carbon fiber. The 2019 911 Speedster is available for order on May 7, 2019, and is expected to reach U.S. dealers in late 2019. Prices haven't been announced, but bring money. Lots and lots of money. 
(Genesis images)
Hyundai's Genesis division unveiled 
the Mint Concept ahead of the opening of the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The Mint Concept "introduces the all-electric, luxury car for the city, a new vehicle typology, featuring organic design and an innovative interior user experience," according to Genesis PR minions. The lightweight runabout "reimagines the iconic shape of the city car, tailored to the needs of modern lifestyle." “The Mint Concept disconnects the physical dimensions of the vehicle from its positioning as a premium product, calquing the city car of the past to today,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Executive Vice President and Chief Design Officer of Hyundai Motor Group. “The Mint Concept is a designer’s Occam’s razor that challenged us to visualize a scaled-down interpretation of our signature aesthetic.” Huh? Well, alrighty then! The Mint Concept was a collaborative among Genesis design studios located around the world, led by Genesis Global Advanced Design in Germany, Genesis Design Team in the U.S., and the Namyang Design Center in South Korea.
(Lincoln images)
The 2020 Lincoln Corsair is the small crossover formally known as the MKC. Based on the all-new 2020 Ford Escape architecture, the Corsair is a dramatic departure from its Ford underpinnings in countless ways, too many, in fact, to list here. It's longer, lower and wider than the model it replaces, and it wears its dimensions well. Needless to say, the design of the Corsair is consistent with the Navigator and the upcoming Aviator, but the interior is where the new Corsair hits a grand slam home run. Clean, tasteful and welcoming, the Corsair interior will be its chief selling feature, and another example of how Lincoln is not only distancing itself from Cadillac, but pushing its brand into a higher space in the luxury market. We expect the Corsair to be a hit.


It's all in the drive, Part II.

Editor-in-Chief's Note: 
It's feast or famine when it comes to getting press fleet cars here at AE. Well, mostly famine, since when it comes right down to it we go for months on end between getting cars to drive. So, it's somewhat of a shock to have two cars in three weeks, especially when this week has us in the 2019 Cadillac CT6 Sport AWD. Full disclosure, I had a Cadillac DTS as a personal driver for a couple of years, and even though it was classic "yestertech" at the time, I enjoyed it, particularly when dealing with the urban--freeway slog. So I was looking forward to the CT6 Sport, especially since it was designed and engineered back in the days when Cadillac had its sights on the luxury-performance German machines from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. 
As I've said before, the CT6 looks great coming at you on the road, especially with the Sport grille, as our tester had. And the look of the front lighting at night is borderline spectacular. In total the CT6 design is crisp and purposeful from the front, too elongated from the side, and fairly nondescript from the back. The Red Horizon Tintcoat paint is an interesting look on the CT6, especially in the sea of black and the various shades of gray seen on most luxury cars, but it wouldn't be my first choice. I get the "Sport" connotation, but it didn't seem quite appropriate for the $83,215 sticker price. 
I found the interior to be better than I expected it would be, looking sleek and seamless in all the right places. The instrumentation was superb, and Cadillac's move to more control knobs and clear-read graphics was welcome. If you notice in the specs below, this CT6 Sport AWD was super-loaded with $15,000+ of options. I should pause right here and say that I didn't try even 20 percent of the technology in this car, including the vaunted Super Cruise. Why? I am not technology averse, but to me it's all about the drive. And too much of the technology available on cars in this era has little to do with enhancing the way they drive. I didn't want to overdose on the technology, when I could spend more time concentrating on the driving (although to be fair, plenty of the technology intruded on the driving anyway).

I will say that when it comes to the driving, the CT6 Sport acquits itself well, especially with the "sport" mode on. Not having been in a big sedan in a while, but very familiar with them, the CT6 Sport felt slightly big and ponderous at first, especially at slow urban speeds. But as with its competitive set of German sedans, the CT6 comes to life when the speeds come up. The ponderousness goes away, it gets lighter on its feet and no surprise, it feels slightly Germanic, although with a crisper, engineered-in-Detroit feel. And the Twin-Turbo V6 performed flawlessly, with an enjoyable level of response and notable thrust. Yes, the ride is slightly on the harsh side, but it is not overly rough or objectionable in the least, even on Michigan's now traditional - and monumentally shitty - roads. 

The CT6 Sport was surprisingly much better than I thought it would be, certainly better than the criticism leveled at it. But at the same time, in a SUV/crossover obsessed world, the CT6 is destined to operate on the margins. Not Cadillac enough for the traditional - and dying out - Cadillac intenders, and not elevated enough for the logo-obsessed, flavor-of-the-moment auto grazers. Would I consider a CT6 Sport AWD if I was shopping competitors from Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz? I would. But then again, I think this loaded tester should sticker for just under $70,000, all-in. That's what happens when a brand's image doesn't live up to its obviously well-executed, real-world presence. -PMD UPDATE: With more time spent in the CT6 Sport AWD, the more I realized the kind of effort the True Believers at GM/Cadillac put into this car. In sport mode and at higher speeds, the chassis feels planted, capable and really good. And the Twin-Turbo V6, as I said, provides plenty of thrust, especially in the 70-100 mph range needed to get around sluggish traffic on the freeway. So, as a driver-oriented machine the CT6 acquits itself quite well for a big sedan. I did try out Super Cruise, and I have to say that although it worked as advertised, i found it to be eerie and more than a little disconcerting. If this is a limited preview of our driving future, I think I will enjoy working the steering wheel for a long time to come. I do appreciate the technology displayed in the Super Cruise system, however, it's just not appealing to me. -PMD
2019 Cadillac CT6 Sport AWD: $83,215 ($66,595 Base Price; Red Horizon Tintcoat, $1225; Jet Black interior; 3.0-liter, Direct Injected, Twin Turbocharged V6 with 404HP and 400 lbs-ft of torque; 10-speed automatic transmission, Electronic Precision Shift; All-Wheel-Drive; 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS; Four-wheel independent suspension; 19" multi-spoke alloy wheels; LED headlights and tail lamps; Intellibeam headlights; Sport grille; Black finish window moldings; Leather seating surfaces, 16-way power bucket seats, front; Driver and front passenger memory seats; Heated front seats; Power rear window sunshade with manual rear side sunshades; Heated steering wheel; Auto-dim inside rear view mirror;  Automatic climate control, dual zone; Power adjustable and heated body color outside mirrors; 8" gauge cluster; Cadillac User Experience with 10" diagonal color display; Navigation, Apple Carplay and Android capability provided by Apple and Google; Bose premium ten speakers audio; Wireless charging; SiriusXM and HD radio (first three months free); Ultraview sunroof; Auto parking assist; Power deck lid, hands free; Super Cruise Package - Super Cruise driver assistance feature includes the first three years of OnStar to support Super Cruise functionality, Forward and reverse automatic braking, Advanced adaptive cruise control, Night vision, Magnetic ride control, Active rear steering, 20" multi-spoke alloy wheels - $6,000; Bose Panaray sound system including 34 speakers, $3700; Rear Seat Package - Rear seat infotainment, HDMI module, Quad-zone climate control, ionizing air cleaner - $2,700; Comfort and Technology Package - 12" color gauge cluster including driver personalization, Rear camera mirror (with washer), Head-up display, Ventilated driver and front passenger seat backs, Heated rear outboard seats - $2,000; Destination charge, $995)

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