Kamis, 14 Desember 2017

Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

It's a wagon, it's brown and I'm keeping calm.

But then I remember this 2017 V90 Cross Country is also a Volvo and I'm just making fruitless attempts to not fall in love at first sight.

Why? Because the latest Volvos have been knocking it out of the park with their ability to appeal to your heart, from a company that has traditionally attracted your head. If the recent XC90 and S90 models have been anything to go by, this wagon in jacked-up form should be another Volvo that continues the company's hot critical streak.

I've been driving a Volvo V90 Cross Country this week. Here are some initial thoughts.

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Hot lumberjack

Auto reviewers have been gushing over the V90, and that was even before they found out it would be available in a shade as striking as this Maple Brown. And often, the raised and puffed-up "off-road" wagons like this Cross Country version don't to the original shape justice. Here, however, the higher ride height and beefier appearance suits the V90's sweeping lines.

In fact, I'd like to skip the body color-painted bumpers and arches that come in the $4,500 Luxury Package and keep the gray ones that come standard. The rugged look really works on this long, gorgeous wagon. It's a moving flannel shirt, but like a really nicely cut one.

Curves and lines

Alright, this isn't quite the tall and upright Volvo wagon we've respected (and some have loved) for decades. A quest for style and aerodynamics has finally smoothed the boxiness out and the V90 Cross Country has a noticeably tapered rear end that makes it visually less commodious than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, for example.

Still, the breathtakingly gorgeous interior shared with the Volvo S90 is plenty spacious, front, rear and cargo area. The rear seats fold truly flat, essential for the spontaneous IKEA run I've already made this week. And the front seats are, predictably, breathtakingly comfortable.

Super' sounds

The 316-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four is back, as it has shown up in pretty much every recent Volvo. It's the only engine in the V90 Cross Country right now, although the turbo-only T5 version is expected for 2018. It moves this Volvo around better than in the heavier, three-row XC90, but for some reason, the noises from all of the ways it's trying to motivate those 316 horses sounds more... eccentric. I like it, but I don't know if everyone will in a $70,000 luxury car.

On point off-road

It's California in the summer and most of my time with the V90 Cross Country has been spent in the city and on a long highway ride, which has revealed that even on 20-inch wheels, it's an incredibly soft and comfortable machine.

But on some dirt and gravel driveways and paths I found in suburban Santa Barbara, the V90 Cross Country was effortlessly (and surprisingly) capable. It was more confidence inspiring on iffy surfaces than the Audi A4 Allroad, likely thanks to an all-wheel drive system that has no intention of doing anything to save fuel (expect low 20s in town, maybe). I'm fairly sure this Volvo would be unstoppable in the next Storm of the Century.

Circle the wagons

The XC90's been out for two years now and it's become commonplace in upscale enclaves around the world. The V90 Cross Country, however, turns heads. Those who haven't been following Volvo's upswell are still surprised the company that used to make square cars with round wheels is turning out cars as striking as this. For a practical way to attract a crowd, you buy the wagon.

Richard Petty Switches His Legendary No 43 To The New Chevy Camaro ZL1

More than sponsors, manufacturers, teams, or even drivers, stock cars are known by their numbers. 43 is among the most famous of them, and it's switching to a new car next season.

Since its debut in 1954, Petty Enterprises' No 43 has been worn by Dodges, Plymouths, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, and Fords. But next year it will be on the new Chevy Camaro ZL1.

The switch coincides with a new deal penned between Richard Petty Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing, whose ECR Engines department builds the Chevy powertrains for NASCAR and the United SportsCar Championship.

“This is our next chapter of Petty racing,” said team co-owner Richard Petty. “Chevrolet has been a consistent winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a long time and we’re proud to be a part of the GM family again.”

Though traditionally sponsored by STP motor oils, this year the No 43 Camaro will be sponsored primarily by Click n' Close mortgages. It'll be driven by Darrel “Bubba” Wallace, Jr, who moves up full-time to the Monster Energy Cup this season after strong showings and race wins in lower-level competition.

Though perhaps best known for his long-running partnership with Plymouth, Petty's switch to Chevy for next year is something of a homecoming. Together, Petty teams have won 31 Cup races under GM power, stretching way back to the first Daytona 500 that Lee Petty won in an Oldsmobile in 1959.

Kamis, 07 Desember 2017

SVX V8 Is The Ultimate Land Rover Discovery For Off-Roading And It's Coming In 2018

Land Rover has introduced the Discovery SVX concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Designed to preview a production model that will be launched next year, the Discovery SVX was created by Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations to be the ultimate off-roader.

As a result, the model has been equipped with skid plates, recovery hooks, and an integrated rear winch. The model also features an LED light bar, modified bumpers, and 20-inch alloy wheels with Goodyear all-terrain tires.

Thankfully the changes are more than cosmetic as engineers installed an upgraded four-wheel drive system with locking center and rear differentials. The SVO team also added a bespoke air suspension, long-travel dampers, and revised knuckles. The company says these changes help to improve the Discovery's approach, departure, and breakover angles.

Rounding out the off-road features are an optimized Terrain Response 2 system and a Hydraulic Active Roll Control system which helps to improve wheel articulation, body control, and off-road traction.

While the exterior changes are pretty dramatic, the cabin only sees minor revisions. These include a pistol-grip shifter and two-tone seats with Rush Orange accents and perforated "X" logos.

Last but not least, the Discovery SVX features a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces 525 PS (386 kW) and 625 Nm (461 lb-ft) of torque.